Fading is a slow ghost. Responses just get shorter and less committal until they’re gone, but by the time it’s done, you’ve gotten used to not hearing from them, like when you taper down from smoking or eating carbs.
Monday after a date: You say “That was fun!” Three hours later they say, “Ya!” You say “Have a great night!”, they say nothing!
Tuesday: Still nothing
Wednesday: You ask about plans, three hours later they say “rly busy, talk later”
Friday: You ask, “Hey! Good week? Weekend plans?”
Saturday: No word back at all! Spooky, they’re a ghost!
In many ways, breadcrumbing is even more infuriating than ghosting or fading, and this is how it goes:
They don’t make plans with you for months, but sometimes you’ll get a text out of nowhere that says, “TGIF!” or “Happy 4th!” or “Hope ur gr8!” The two weeks between Christmas and New Year’s are filled with enough breadcrumbs to fill a bakery, as people who’ve been on two dates with you have a little free time and think “I guess there’s worse things than going out with that girl again.” They never have a long conversation, they just drop a three syllable text from time to time. They’re just dropping tiny bits of attention your way to keep you from forgetting about them.