Anyone who has been around a while knows how much I used to hate when men would go black hole on me. I figured it doesn't hurt to just say, hey, I'm not really that interested, sorry. I've thought and wondered and hypothesized why anyone would just not have the courtesy to tell the truth.
But I have to say, over the last 12 months, I've come to realize there's something to be said for just letting someone fade away. Obviously I'm not a fan of doing that when you have an actual relationship. Once someone has invested, even just a little, they deserve some kind of closure. But for brief exchanges, or even after just a date or two, I am officially a fade out convert.
It happened when I met a guy and we messaged, and then we texted. At first it was OK, but then I realized I really wasn't into the conversations we were having. I tried to be polite - but not encouraging - but he didn't take the hint. I started to feel like I was a hostage of my phone. I felt like I had to reply, and I had to be nice - or I had to explain myself.
I finally did, but it was so awkward. He asked for a reason, and I didn't have one. I just didn't like talking to him. I ended up inventing a story (I think I told him I just wasn't in a good mental place to meet new people), and he went away. But I found myself irritated that I had to lie, and even more irritated that I had to explain myself to someone I had never even seen in person.
It occurred to me that might be one of the reasons that men fade away. They don't have a reason, it isn't personal, and they really just don't want to explain themselves. Maybe the truth is as simple as it wasn't worth pursuing.
I've come to the conclusion that's OK.
A friend said to me, well what about when there's a date and it seemed to go well? That's always bugged me too, but I think we can give it the same perspective.
I've been on some awful dates. Most of the time, the other person felt the same. But I have, on occasion, been miserable on a date - only to hear from the guy, wanting another. He thought it went well. Like he was on a totally different date.
A good date is really subjective. You may have thought it went wonderful for both of you; but maybe he was just good at pretending. Or maybe you had rose-colored glasses on. Or maybe the date really was great, but for some other reason, another can't happen.
After one date, does it really matter?
I've come to the conclusion that the fade out is a sign that, for one reason or another, this is not the guy for you. It's the universe's way of protecting you from the unhappiness or hurt or even just inconvenience that comes from investing in the wrong person.
I know it feels like there's no closure, and that stinks. I like closure, too. But sometimes in life, we have to create our own. I think looking at the fade out as protection is a great way to find the closure we really need.
The right guy - the one who is really meant for you - wouldn't just fade away.