Breakups: Getting Over "The Fade-away Breakup..."

Your Silence Speaks Volumes....

Whenever there is a discussion regarding the methods of breakups utilized it is usually done so from the perspective of the person who was dumped.

There is talk about the “wrong way” or "worse way” to end a relationship.

Methods often brought up in this category include violent temper exchanges, dinner in a public place, email, text, voice mail, Facebook status change, word of mouth through a friend or acquaintance.

Timing is another issue that is often brought up such as being told it’s over on a “special day” such as your birthday, Valentine's Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, anniversary, or right after something else awful has occurred in your life.

The method that’s getting a lot of attention lately is the “Fade-way breakup”.

Essentially the person you have been involved with quietly disappears. Suddenly you can’t reach them and they make no attempt to reach you. There were no arguments or complaints raised. No breakup emails, no voice mails, or text messages sent. They just suddenly vanished.

Keep in mind both men and women get dumped by all of the same methods previously described. However it is rare that a man calls a woman a coward in any breakup scenario.

A “coward” is generally defined as a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc Breakups are often unpredictable.

Anyone who has been killed, shot at, stabbed, stalked or harassed probably never envisioned her or his breakup turning into a violent tension filled nightmare.

By calling our ex a coward we are in some ways vindicating their breakup approach. In other words we are saying they would have faced a “confrontation” with us in person.


One reason people have a difficult time with the “fade-away” breakup is the complete absence of “closure”. It’s human nature to ask “Why?” when something bad happens in our life. Some of us would like the opportunity to refute the reasons being given in hopes of changing the mind of the person who has decided to let us go.

Others of us believe we can use their “feedback” to improve ourselves for future relationships. Neither scenario holds much water. Closure is overrated!

Even if you were allowed to explain or put up a case for why the relationship should not be over in the mind of your soon to be ex most likely the scene would end up turning into an argument, bitching/crying session, or worse begging and pleading session.

As for taking a lesson from the feedback of your ex you have to keep in mind that the very reason why he/she is ending their relationship with you could be the same reason why the next person will fall madly in love with you!

It makes little sense to reinvent yourself to be perfect for your ex.

Ultimately we are all looking for someone who will accept, love, and appreciate us for who we are.

Cold Hard Facts

Breakups are at the discretion and convenience of the person dissolving the relationship!

It’s not about what seems fair to you, finding a way to let you down easy, or what day works best for you. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

The “right way” is whatever “their way” is. The person ending the relationship does so at their comfort level.

Lets face it getting dumped is never fun.

It is an “ego crusher” to the nth degree! Essentially someone is telling you that they can do better or be happier without you in their life.

Whether you’re being let go by a company or by a mate you have no say in “how it goes down”. Ultimately your only choice in the matter is to accept that your time together is over and move on.

Some folks emit arrogance with their belief that they have a right to "tell someone how and when to end a relationship with them". The only decisions you can make are your own.

Anger is the mask that hurt wears

It’s natural to be upset when a relationship of any kind comes to an end especially if you’d like it to continue.

However by the same token you really don’t want to be with someone who does not want to be with you. You deserve better than that!

Regardless of whatever manner your relationship comes to an end, “There is nothing your ex can say that will make you feel better about having your heart broken.”

Grieve among your friends and re-establish your self-esteem but find a way to let go of the anger because it will only hold you back from finding your true Mr./Ms. Right.

“Some people think that it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it’s letting go.” — unknown

“I don’t miss him, I miss who I thought he was.” – unknown

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Comments 40 comments

feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

DashingScorpio, in the past when I was the one who initiated the end of a relationship, I most frequently used the "fade-away breakup method". And I guess the reason why I tended to use that method is I am a coward when it comes to telling a woman that I do not want to be with her anymore.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago Author

Feenix, As I noted in this hub people will usually select the breakup option which is (most comfortable for "them"). The person being let go should not take the method personally. The end result is the same. We have no choice but to accept the relationship is over and move on with our lives. Thanks for your comment.

PeytonFarquhar profile image

PeytonFarquhar 5 years ago from So Cal

And sometimes *both* parties use the "fade away" method. This usually happens when Party A has continually exhibited the Siberian treatment & Party B is so fed up/exhausted with the behavior, that s/he does not bother to ask WTF anymore. The relationship ends up in a stalemate and neither side sees much of a reason to discuss it. Lack of communication/concern eventually causes the relationship to wither/fall by the wayside. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago Author

PeytonFarquhar, Thanks for your comment.

You make a valid point. Sometimes each person refuses to be the first to make contact and both parties "fade away". :-)

tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 5 years ago from New York

Closure is overrated, it doesn't solve a problem it just delays one. At first you might think it is helping you to understand what mistakes you made. Later it will force you to ponder about mistakes your mate made. Once you have moved on all it will do is most likely make you despise the other person. At the end of the day it doesn't matter who dumped who or who's fault it was. None of this is going to help you in future relationships. Even if 'closure' eventually helps you realize that you may have done somethings to contribute to the break up this point will still stand: If he or he couldn't put up with you the way you are, then he or she was not the one for you. You can try all you want to, but by a certain age you are who you are, and that ain't changing.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago Author

tHErEDpILL, AMEN!!! For years I have been trying to get this message through to my readers. If "being yourself" is not what your "ex" wanted then they were not right for YOU. Thanks for your comment.

Ultimately everyone of us is looking for someone who will love and accept us for who we are. "Closure" is overrated!

Annie's Corner 5 years ago

Great and informative hub! Loved it!

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago Author

Annie's Corner, Thanks for your comment and compliment!

Zameer Hussain profile image

Zameer Hussain 5 years ago

I always visit a local strip club to get away temporarily from my break up, and I find it relaxing & fun.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago Author

Zameer Hussain, Thanks for your comment.

Everyone has their way of coping with breakups.

wonderful1 profile image

wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California

Your words resonate with me like a caring friend who embraces you when you need it the most. Thank you for that. What a great way to put into words the way to find peace after such a disappointment.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago Author

wonderful1, I sincerely do believe that in the end everything really does happen for the best. One day you look back and you say if (blank) had not happened I would not have done (whatever) which led me to...etc Although we have never met I can tell from your writings that you have a pure heart and a passionate soul. Good things are coming your way. Keep loving yourself and look out for YOUR best interest. Accept this hug from the Midwest. :-)

wonderful1 profile image

wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California

What a way with words, dashingscorpio. Thank you so much, and I accept the hug. I'll do like Dori says, and "just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Hopefully, I'll get it right eventually.

sen.sush23 profile image

sen.sush23 4 years ago from Kolkata, India

Sad as it may be, sometimes the cowardly fade out is the only course left to take. Well written Hub, with logic and control. Voted Up and thanks for the advice.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

sen.sush23, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. In the end all breakups are done at the comfort level of the person ending the relationship.

michememe profile image

michememe 4 years ago

I read this hub as suggested...and needless to say, your words are thought provoking and powering at the same time. Thanks for your support.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

michememe, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I am glad to be of help.

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Amazed by your in-depth analysis Dashing Scorpio. The closure of this hub is not overrated at all. Great points, and still see Wonderful1 around. These hub will never be old news. Dumping a heart and a human being is the worst thing a man/woman can do.. on their own convenient timing. Thanks for sharing!

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Lord De Cross, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment.

I think we get too carried away with thinking about who hurt us or why they hurt us. These are things we have no control over. It is in our best interest to accept reality and focus on the things we can control which is our reactions and taking steps to heal. Playing a game of "saints and sinners" has never healed a broken heart. :-)

We don't get to tell others how to dump us!

VeronicaInspires 4 years ago

What struck me about this article was your section on closure and how you feel it's overrated. You said: "Others of us believe we can use their “feedback” to improve ourselves for future relationships...Closure is overrated!

Closure isn't overrated and is VERY necessary. It's more about healing and being healthy for yourself and your next relationship. When the person hasn't healed, they're bringing their problems -- that baggage into the next relationship.

I had a "first-love" at 15 -- a destructive relationship and our parents pulled us away from each other; I moved. He moved. 15 years passed and I always wondered what happened to him and what could have happened to us. That relationship left a huge impact on my life and I needed closure -- answers in order to finally move on.

Finally, we were able to reconnect and once I got the answers I needed (not the answers I wanted to hear) I was able to close that chapter , in a sense, and move on.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

VeronicaInspires, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I believe closure is one of those "gender difference" kind of things. About a week ago I heard Steve Harvey tell his audience, "Me don't do closure." In essence we don't need a recap or explanation in order to move onto a new relationship.

My suggestion that closure is overrated is intended to (free) people from having to wait for something that may (never) come!

I'm glad you were able to get the answers you felt you needed in order to "close that chapter" and move on. Many people however never ever get closure and they are able to move on.

Being in love at age 15 is not (real love) in the sense that you are still a child being taken care of by your parents and your priorites are school, friends, and boyfriends. Adult love or mature love takes place after we have experienced life, determined the traits we need in a life partner, have responsibilites, a career and so on. Teenage or college love is so much more intense because we're basically living in a cocoon and our hormones are raging with intensity. The first breakup or heartache we experience is the most painful as well.

I suspect if you were talking to a 15 year old girl today you might advise her not to be too emotionally invested in a relationship at that stage of her life. I knew a girl that attempted suicide at age 13 because her 14 year old boyfriend broke up with her. She lacked the maturity to see that they were not likely to live happily ever after. It’s impossible to get kids to see that though because they all think they’re smarter than their parents.

wonderful1 profile image

wonderful1 4 years ago from Southern California

That's very disturbing, dashing... I read a book that specifically addressed the issue of young girls-- way too young, like 10-12, already pressured into having relationships/sex too soon. The book was called "The Triple Bind" or something, written by a psychologist who was studying young women over the course of the last few decades.

And you know what? I hate to say that I see this first hand as a mother of two teenage girls. They think that boyfriends/love/relationships are the most important thing of all, along with friendships/fitting in and followed closely by being successful with education and extra curricular activities. Girls especially are under more pressure to succeed than ever before. It makes me so sad to see what's going on lately, like the girl who committed suicide because she got ridiculed online from posting a picture of her bare chest to please a guy. I teach my girls about self-confidence, independence and living your life for YOURSELF before you make room for any boyfriends/husband. (Disclaimer: I don't want them to end up in my path of codependency that ruined my life since my divorce).

I really, REALLY hope there will be an intervention and education for young women to stop this destructive behavior. Having knowledge of the consequences is the first step but there's so much more we can do to protect future generations.

lovedoctor926 4 years ago

A very good hub. voted up awesome.

Just like you stated: the fade-away approach is for cowards. Anyone who attempts to end a relationship by texting or emailing also falls in this category. If you need to breakup with someone, it should be done in person. Silence does speak volumes. There are people who are allergic to any type of confrontation and just don't want to deal with it, but sooner or later they will have to face the truth.

Wonderful, you have made very good points. You're teaching your daughters the right thing. Co-dependency is all about manipulation and control. You need to be in charge of yourself. have your own life, your own goals, career and hobbies separate from your partner. I'm afraid these little girls have a lot to learn about love and relationships. I also think that schools should offer a mandatory course on loving yourself and self-esteem.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Wonderful1 thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. It’s scary when teenagers become so “emotionally invested” in relationships. I wish I had an answer solve it. The 13 year old girl that attempted suicide over a breakup was not under the kind of pressure teens are under today. In fact many of us in that era considered ourselves to be “grown”.

Teenagers (believe) they are “in love’ and even though they’re 13, 14, 15, or 16…etc they “know” they’re going to marry their boyfriend/girlfriend. Any attempt by an adult to tell them otherwise is seen as “cynical” or “ignorant” How do you tell a child that what they’re feeling is NOT “real love”? That they’re not mature enough or have not lived long enough? Or Don’t even know who they are yet…? A 14 year old boy that dumps his 13 year old girlfriend should not be held to the same standards of grown men and a 13 year old girl should not believe her life is “over” because a relationship ended! It’s really scary to me when someone states they needed “closure” at age 30 from a relationship they had when they were age 15! Hopefully by then we are able to put things perspective.

Lovedoctor926, Thanks for your comment and the vote up & awesome.

I just want people to know that breakups or divorces are part of life. It’s okay to grieve some but you don’t want to shut down and stop living life. That’s giving one person/relationship too much power. People forget they had a life (before) they met their ex and therefore it is proof they are able to live on without them. We have to accept a relationship is over no matter how it ended in order for us to move on and be open to new possibilities. It’s the smart and mature thing to do.

ghada1234 profile image

ghada1234 4 years ago

When the heart black and cold this mean yes the end and must be accepted and move

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

ghada1234, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I can tell you are a beautiful woman inside and out. Things will get better for you. Know yourself, Love yourself, and Trust yourself!

ghada1234 profile image

ghada1234 4 years ago

Really thank you and i am happy to meet you and your great writer

Affinity2010 profile image

Affinity2010 4 years ago from New Orleans, La

This is a very great hub... and very useful

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 4 years ago Author

Affinity2010, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I also enjoyed reading your hub as well!

kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Thank you, dashing scorpio, for your answer to my question and referring me to this hub.

I don't consider myself a coward, but as you say break-ups are never easy - they are neither easy for me when I initiate them, but, of course, they are even more painful when it is the other party.

I don't break up without exchanging at least some words - which may or may not pass for closure. I had a terrible habit of always justifying my behaviour (in the form of long monologues or even letters) - not only in relationships and then I was told that I'd better stop.

I did not know about this "fade away" technique, I guess I simply learned it on a battlefield.

Maybe "fade away" is not exactly passive aggressive (depending on the case), but certainly passive. I started doing it not in cases where there was a relationship, but in online chats when you see that it goes nowhere from the first lines, where no understanding is likely to be established. My initial "courteous" dialogues were constructed that I should not judge too soon too harshly. But now, I just drop them.

Maybe it sounds mean, maybe it is mean, but it's more effective than a subsequent ping-pong of angry retorts.

I can recollect now only one time when I responded with silence and, yes, as you so correctly stated I thought the man was a coward (even though how could I have known?)

For ten days, we engaged in exchanging long, "soulful", deep e-mails and everything went swimmingly (except for a few red flags which I chose to ignore until I have a chance to find out) and we reached the point where we were setting up a real date.

In the middle of it, he sends me an e-mail "I am sorry I have to cancel. I have a suspicion this is not going to be a long-term relationship and I foresee difficulties in clarity and direction".

It was polite, completely incomprehensible as to what changed within one hour and I was ... contemplating what to say in response. There is not much to say, though.

1. Be polite, acknowledge closure.

2. The old me would have asked what exactly gave him the impression and maybe suggest meeting anyways...

But I was angry and hurt.... and while cooling down (it's never the best time to write while boiling)....

I just decided to let it go. I did not respond. Maybe it was impolite, but I thought that he did precisely that - chickened out of a date.

Maybe that was not the reason, but what difference does it make? Online communication devoid of face-to-face interaction leaves us in a battlefield of frozen tactics.

You are right, I don't feel good about it, but I take every new encounter as a way to learn. Online dating is still a very new terrain.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 3 years ago Author

kallini2010, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I would not consider anyone a (coward) for the way they chose to end a relationship. That word always conjures up fear of confrontation or potential attacks. I believe women tend to be more harder on men that do this than the other way around. Needless to say we have (no say) in how a person dumps us. All we can do is accept it's over. As I stated you also should let go of feeling guilty for moving on at (your comfort) level. It would be different if you had been in a long-term relationship or marriage. However "chat buddies" or email pals is not on that level.

mikeydcarroll67 19 months ago

The fading breakup honestly sucks. But regardless of immature and inappropriate it can be, it sometimes is a blessing for the person that is getting broken up with. It can allow them to have a little bit of time of reflection and perhaps pursue their own closure before moving on.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 19 months ago Author

mikeydcarroll67, You make an excellent point.

Sometimes the fade away breakup allows the abandoned person to gradually accept the ending of the relationship as opposed to being shocked.

In fact I imagine it's not unusual for them to realize they're not spending as much time together and they decide to call it off themselves!

mikeydcarroll67 19 months ago

I would agree. The fade away breakups that I have had almost always are very gradual, but that made it a lot easier to accept the end.

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 19 months ago Author

I imagine there's nothing like believing everything is going wonderfully and having someone {out of the blue} tell you; "It's not working out for me. I think we should go our separate ways." Shock intensifies heartache!

mikeydcarroll67 19 months ago

Been there and done that. Both have their advantages. Thanks for the responses and posts! Keep them coming!

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 18 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i never had breakups, I break the guys instead. Anyway, breakups are hard to endure, beers help

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 18 months ago Author

Breakups are especially hard on those who did not want to breakup. Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment peachpurple!

ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 16 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Great article on breakup. It is never easy, but I am a firm believer that honesty comes first. Tell your partner in person, you do not want to be with them and leave. I feel we owe them that courtesy. shared

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 16 months ago Author

ladyguitarpicker, In most instances a it is ideal to tell someone in person. However it really depends on how well you know that person's emotional makeup. History is filled with future exes not taking breakup news well which has sometimes lead to murder. If the person has a violent temper it may be safer not to have a face to face conversation

Awhile back I wrote a hub titled "A Breakup Method".

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