While life may slow down a bit during summer, hormones often do exactly the opposite. This leads to a sticky season ripe for sweaty make-out sessions, al freso sex in the sunshine and second dates in bathing suits. Sadly, there’s also a warm-weather dating trend a few of my female friends have also noticed: The Vacation Fadeout.
The Vacation Fadeout is Ghosting’s sun-kissed cousin, an age-old disappearing act but this time wearing sunglasses and flip-flops. It always starts with either you or the person you’re dating talking about a planned vacation. Then said person goes on vacation and, as we all know, it’s not mandatory you reach out while sightseeing or beach combing. Some radio silence when in another country or city is forgivable, for sure. But then they or you return and — poof — you’re suddenly single again, with zero explanation.
Vanishing during any stage of a relationship is cowardly and despicable, but made all too easy in this fast-paced digital era. While it may seem to come as a shock, Vacation Fadeouts, not too unlike layoffs, both come with their own unique set of smoke signals. Here are a few we’ve culled for you to make a mental bookmark of when dating someone new.
While in the throes of a new relationship, it’s easy to listen to what the other person says while also not hearing them at all, especially when enjoying some sangria on beautiful July evening. This must be Darwinian or evolutionary, instrumental to our species existence or something, because it never makes sense in retrospect. Anyway, we want you to flip through your Dialogue Files with Mr. or Ms. Vacation Fadeout and red flag anytime they said any variation of the following: “I’m not even sure what I want right now,” “I don’t even have the time for anything serious,” or “I may never want to settle down.” Sure, people can change their minds, but so much of life is an uphill battle, why make the prospects of a new relationship one, too?
2.) Have Plans for Dates Post-Vacation Been Vague or Murky?
Before they leave for vacation do they a.) not make any mention of contacting you while there and b.) leave things delightfully open-ended for when they return? While it’s easy to brush this off as normal or careless, this isn’t always a coincidence. Often, future Vacation Fade Outs do this so they can mull over whether or not they want to see you again and then make a decision as to whether or not they’ll text or reply to yours when they return.
Sure, we all have that friend who met their soulmate on a swiping binge after too many beers at that dive bar in the East Village. Bravo! But in an era where a few taps, swipes and hey there’s will introduce you to a stadium’s worth of options within five miles, it’s best to proceed with caution. While it’s possible to meet someone significant on an app synonymous with one-night stands, these very dating sites are a warm weather Ghoster’s playground. Proceed with caution.
4.) Did You Feel Something in Your Gut That Things Just Weren’t Right?
We were all given internal alarms to shock our body into attention when in harmful situations. Don’t defy nature by ignoring this gift. Next time you’re sipping red wine across the table from someone new or walking home after a second or third date and feel that sick, anxious feeling in your belly, store it away and keep it in mind before you agree to another date.
5.) Do You Talk Once a Week or Less, and Is Alcohol Always Involved in Your Dates?
Part of what makes the Vacation Fadeout so easy for some is a lack of what the VFer may perceive as a real connection; in other words, they may feel like they don’t owe you much. Sure, they might be physically there and, yes, maybe there’s even bodily fluids exchanged, but if conversation never seems to scratch the surface, if its been a month or so and days pass without a peep only to meet up and get rip, roaring drunk — take note. Part of building a lasting relationship is being emotionally present, and these are all tricks those who may not be ready for a relationship employ to masquerade under the guise of dating only to bounce when things get boring or too intense. You’ve been warned.