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Internet Dating Problems #1: Fading and Ghosting

Jeff is a 65-year old American widower seeking friendship and love on internet dating websites. He has learned much in the last 6 months!

Those Annoying Faders

If you haven't been 'faded' by an internet match, then you must be very, very new to internet dating!

If you haven't been 'faded' by an internet match, then you must be very, very new to internet dating!

In my experience, having received 1,700 women matches from two internet dating sites, you will run into some troublesome dating matches. Of the basic types of problematic people you will meet through internet dating, the largest percentage of them will be in one these three categories: "Faders", "Ghosts" and "Scammers". Faders are more annoying than anything else. Ghosts are annoying and can be emotionally distressing.

Scammers are annoying ... and emotionally distressing ... and rip-off artists (essentially con men or women), who target you for your money. They deserve a whole separate article and I have written a different one about these scoundrels!

Anyway, let's start with information about the least harmful troublemakers, Faders:

(1) FADERS - The Fader is more annoying and frustrating than anything else. They generally don't reveal enough about themselves for you to become emotionally attached to them, so when they go away (or you cut them off) you are generally not very saddened by their departure. Faders are essentially shy or spineless people (of either gender, of course) who can not muster the courage to just say, "I'm sorry, Pat. You are just not interested in the things that I find interesting. But, I wish you well in your future search for romance!" ... or words to that effect. (Short, sweet and to the point, right?)

Here is the typical email messaging sequence with a Fader, which can run over the course of a day, or several days, or even a week or two:

You: "Hello, Pat, it's nice meeting you by way of email. How do you like living in Centerville? I've heard it's a pretty nice place to live. Is that your experience, too?"

Them: "Hello. Yes, living in Centerville is mostly pleasant except for ... *(They proceed to tell you in a couple of sentences about the joys and downfalls of living in Centerville.)* "

You: "That's interesting! As you can read, I live in Big Ditch City and I have found ... *(You expend three sentences about the joys and downfalls of living in Big Ditch City.)* "

Them: "That's interesting."

You: "Okay. So, tell me about your career. Are you still working or are your retired?"

Them: "Yes. What about your career?"

You: "Well, my career is ... *(You regale them with five sentences about your career: past, present and future.)* ... So, do you have any pets or kids living with you?"

Them: "No. How about you?"

You: "I have a dog, a cat and two daughters who ... *(You tell them all about your pets and children, in nine sentences.)* ... Enough about me, do you own or rent your place in Centerville?"

Them: "Rent. How about you?"

You: "You see, it's like this ... *(You write four stimulating sentences about the house you live in.)* ... I'd be interested to hear what your favorite hobby is?"

Them: "Jigsaw puzzles. And you?"

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You: "Boy, I'm glad you asked! Nothing gets my heart pounding like making leather belts and moccasins ... *(You proceed to recite for six full sentences about the joys of leatherworking.)* ... Well, I feel like I'm dominating this conversation! Let's jump to a different topic: Politically, I'm to the left of the Socialist Party. How about you?"

Them: "No, I'm a centrist. Do you hike?"

You: "Yes I do! In fact ... *(You now write five sentences on the pleasures of your hiking experiences over the years.)* ... So, how about you? Hike a lot?"

Them: "Yes. You camp out, too?"


Finally, eventually, you come to the realization that you have expended 15-20 minutes on each of your messages to them, while they have expended maybe 20 seconds replying to each of your messages and questions. My friend, you are being faded and this can go on for dozens more of these one-sided back-and-forth messages. You may be deluding yourself that you are having a heartfelt conversation with some male or female romantic match, but they are revealing little to nothing about themselves. You may waste hours trying to communicate with a Fader and nothing much will come of it. For whatever reason, they have no real interest in you, but they won't come right out and tell you. They let you babble on and on, hoping YOU will take a hint and finally stop this futile waste of time.

Those Heartbreaking Ghosts

The Ghost will do a quick vanishing act. No goodbye ... and he or she is gone forever!

The Ghost will do a quick vanishing act. No goodbye ... and he or she is gone forever!

(2) GHOSTS - The Ghost match can seem like a Fader match, in a way, but the Ghost can be both annoying and emotionally distressing. Where the Fader specializes in revealing little or nothing about him or her self, but appears to enjoy dragging your conversation on for seemingly forever, the Ghost is more of a "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am (or sir)" kind of character. The Ghost can be more emotionally open to you, allowing more of a friendship to develop between the two of you. That is where the emotional feelings - and resulting pain - can develop. In fact, it often seems the Ghost encourages a closer emotional tie and then - *Poof* - the Ghost is gone. This doesn't seem to just be a coincidence, as the Ghost is one of those people who becomes more nervous and worried, the closer your relationship becomes. The worst part: one moment they are there and the next moment - *POOF* - they are gone ... usually forever.

This how that can look, in email correspondence form:

You [after a dozen or more messages have been shared]: "Well, Pat, I am so glad you have told me why you have a dread fear of cats and hamsters! You will be happy to know that all I have is one dog, so ... *(And you write five more sentences about your wonderful, wouldn't-hurt-a-fly doggie companion.)* ... So, do you think you could ever accept Darwin the Little Dog as a friend?"

Them: "Leslie, I think I could learn to accept him. After all, he is just a Chihuahua, right? Anyway, it must have been terrible for you, after you lost your spouse of 26 years. I can't even imagine what that felt like for you."

You: "Even now, I get a little teardrop after think about that shocking car crash and the week in intensive care ... *(You share nine sentences about your deceased spouse's shocking car accident and the subsequent emotional and legal hell that you - and your family - went through.)* ... So, Pat, have you ever experienced anything like that?"

Them: *They never reply to you! They are gone - *Poof* - and you will probably never hear another word from them.*


Ghosts are much more likely to let you get close to them, and vice-versa, especially when compared to the Faders. That's why it can be so painful: They never tell why they no longer wish to share your companionship, they just vanish forever. OUCH!

Those Fraudulent Scammers

The most vile of internet dating miscreants are the Scammers, who can not only harm you emotionally, but also - and most  especially - financially.

The most vile of internet dating miscreants are the Scammers, who can not only harm you emotionally, but also - and most especially - financially.

Scammers are much worse than Faders and Ghosts, because they do what they do to harm you, right from the start. Your pain? Your financial loss? Sorry, not their problem. They are frauds, con artist and thieves. If they can mess with your emotions, then the more money they can make from you. Your pain is just "the cost of doing business". Breaking your heart, betraying your trust, emptying your wallet; these are all in a day's work for these liars and thieves!

Scammers are much worse than Faders and Ghosts. They deserve their own separate article, so look for my next article, INTERNET DATING PROBLEMS #2: SCAMMERS & CATFISHERS, where I detail a few of their scams and give a few tips on how to avoid these sneaky internet dating perpetrators.

© 2022 Jeffrey Duff

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