5 Reasons They Pulled the FADE on You

the fade relationships

Things are going great with that special someone.


The first few dates have been fun, regular between texting, and during your last get together—I mean shoot, you even planned your next date.


Who knows, maybe you’ve even kissed.


Then…it happens.


Like a dandelion slowly floating away piece by piece…the inevitable demise becomes clear.


They start to become busier.

Texting back becomes more rare.

Voice message returns are non-existent. (plus, who leaves voice mails…honestly! What is this, like the 1700’s?)

The “next date” is canceled the day before.




No breakup.

No talk.

No explanation.


Yes, my friend, you’ve just been faded.


You have nothing left but a seedless weed of a relationship. But hey…it could be worse. I mean, it could have worked out. But that is a post for another day.


And while you might think you are overanalyzing…

They might have their reasons.


You might be a bad kisser.

They might have found out about your dating blog.

You might be roommates with their ex.

They might have found someone else.


And while you might be heartbroken…

They might be over it.


But why do people pull the fade?

  1. They don’t want to blow it out of proportion. It wasn’t a big deal. You weren’t official. Why make it something it never was?
  2. It is too late. By the time they realized they weren’t interested, it had been too long and it would have been awkward to go back.
  3. They are scared. They don’t want to face the potential frustration.
  4. You are scary. Yeah. You just may be.
  5. You are imagining it. They really are just super busy right now or maybe they are in the hospital and you just haven’t found out so you might as well hold onto hope and keep calling and texting them because then they will finally realize that you are amazing and fall in love with you and you should definitely over analyze it and talk about it with everyone that doesn’t ask but you imagine that they because the more you talk about it the better the situation gets. Yeah. That’s probably it. Let me know how that works out for you. #harshsarcasticreality


So reasons aside, what do you do it if you are getting the fade?


Let the Three Point Rule be your guide and move on. After all, if things are going to work out, it will be because THEY realize how much they miss you and not because you are trying to run around catching pieces of what once could have been.

Top 10 WORST Reasons to Break Up

worst reasons to break up


Valentines day always reminds me of…breaking up.


So in honor of a Friday the 13th right before the luckiest day of the year, we will count down your TOP TEN WORST REASONS TO BREAK UP!


10. The ol’ “it’s not me, it’s you not being perfect enough”routine.

waiting for perfect girl dump


9. “You’re too smart/dumb…and so am I.”
dumped because too smart 2

This is another good one on this topic.

dumped me not smart


8. “God told me…or like He’s telling me…right now”

dumped me in a prayer


7. “Pickings are too slim”

dumped because too fat


6. Something every Mormon will understand and something that NO Mormon should understand.

blessing not fit dumped


5. This one is pretty legit, but still I can’t believe that guys are THIS cheap!

dumped because too cheap


4. “I like you too much to risk loving you…you know, because that makes sense.”

dumped because married


3. “You aren’t quite my muse.”

dumped because can't sing


2. “Something just smells fishy about this…”

broke up smelled





1. “Oh…yeah, I forgot about that one little detail.”

dumped me because of a fiance


Part 2 of Diminishing Deal Breakers: The Doubt of the Benefit

deal breakers dating


As you may recall, this chart depicts how you should act when dating: keep things below the line and don’t be yourself too quickly—that is, if you are kinda…”unique.”


BUT, this chart isn’t just about you giving a slow reveal of your oddness, it also can help you in understanding your feelings for someone you are dating.


See a few years ago, before I understood this chart, I asked this girl out. She was beautiful, fun and seemed to be pretty cool.


Then she revealed that she hates hot tubs.


…on a first date.




I told her, “It goes 1.Religion, 2.Families 3.Hot tubs.” She disagreed.


I never asked her out again.


To me, that fell above the line and entered the “Drop Zone” during “Stage 1-Feeling it Out.”


But in retrospect, I was ridiculous! To stop going out someone because they hate hot tubs? #facepalm

give the benefit of the doubt

It is one thing to dislike something that I like, but the big question is WHY! See, not liking hot tubs falls into the “Seriously?!” category (for me) which, if I would have invested a little more time or discovered a little more emotional connection, would not have been a deal breaker at all, for I would have progressed to “Stage 2-Feeling Good” and it would then be below the deal breaker line.


The process of falling in love with someone is simply understanding them.


That understanding doesn’t come though knowing WHAT they do/don’t do or like/don’t like, but though a deeper appreciation of WHY they do/don’t do or like/don’t like.


Take the hot tub hater, for example. People understand and love her deeply. She has best friends, siblings, parents, (now her husband who is “Stage 3-Feeling Sure”) and yeah, especially God, who thinks that she is the best most incredible person. And I didn’t get a chance to see why they think that because of a ‘heated’ debate. I was too immature to look beyond the curve into “Stage 2” where I could have seen her for the amazing person she is.


Shame on me!


We often get so caught up in the deal breakers that we forget one important fact: once the relationship strength increases, our concern often won’t even be a deal breaker—hence, the Law of DIMINISHING Deal Breakers. The further you progress, the less things will throw you off.


Have a few nonnegotiables, and then it all comes down to this: give a person the benefit of the doubt—until they give you reason enough to doubt the benefit.


And this goes well beyond dating, keep in mind. This is about humanity.


Next time you look at an old person, realize that one time they were held as a baby.

When you see the quiet person, remember that they have made people laugh until they cried.

As you meet everyone, assume they are trying to be good.


For in the end…don’t we hope that they can look at us the same?

The Law of Diminishing Deal Breakers (Part 1)

Last week we talked about how it is important to be ourselves in dating and not trick people into falling for us.


The chart below is explains why we have a hard time being ourselves—because we aren’t supposed to!


It is called The Law of Diminishing Deal Breakers.


The law states that the correlation between the relationship strength and the severity of the deal breaker is a Gompertz function (“S-curve” (thanks Google)) where the further you progress in the relationship, the greater the concern must be in order to become a legitimate “deal breaker”.


“Relationship strength” is defined by the time invested multiplied by the emotional connection. It isn’t just about connection or time, but both!


Anything that falls into the “Drop Zone” is out like a fat kid in dodge ball.

Everything in the “Go Zone” is on like Donkey Kong.



The severity of the deal breaker is a subjective parameter by the evaluating party.


Let’s understand this from the perspective of being observed.

deal breakers dating

STAGE 1: Feeling it Out

On a first date I don’t mention the fact that I have leopard sheets, hot tamale PJ’s, bear claw slippers and a little mermaid pillow case…that’s a little too much into the “Seriously?!” boundary.


So keep it normal at the start—even (especially) if you aren’t.


Now this does not mean to lie. If you don’t like parties, you don’t have to say, ‘I hate parties and everyone that goes to them because they are stupid!’ You can say, ‘I would rather do something else next time if that is okay.’


Stage 2: Feeling Good

It is at this stage that you can begin to explore a little bit of letting them get to know your quirks. Your weird ‘alone in the car’ habits may be a little too soon here, but start to test the waters with the number of shoes you have, your disdain for open cupboards and your fetish with pulling out nose hairs.


Stage 3: Feeling Sure

This can be called in the bag—brown paper bag, that is. Regardless of how strong your relationship is, everyone has a limit of what they are willing to handle. Remember that last time you got paper bags with three jugs of milk in it? Yup. Hard pass. Things like killing people, SUPER [censored] internet habits or sneezing into you hand instead of your elbow would fall into this category.


Moral of the story:

As my mother always tells me, “Zack, don’t not be you…just…be—less of you.”


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Did God Dump You?

on mountain alone

You take your significant other on a journey to visit a very wise man—the wisest man in the world. Not only is he wise, but he happens to know both your and your interest.


You traverse the mountain until you arrive at his door and tell your (boy/girl)friend to wait outside. They sit down and begin to anxiously bite their nails.


You go into the wise man and say, “I have come to ask a question.”


“Proceed,” comes his response.


“Well, I was wondering if this person and I should get married. I’ll do whatever you say.”


Now stop…and think.


What do you think this wise man would tell you? If he tells you yes or no, then you can blame him for the answer and everything that is a result of that would be his fault. You are off scot free. Wouldn’t that be nice?


But see, he is a wise man.


So instead he says, “What do you think?”


“Well…” you stammer, “they are nice and kind and super awesome, but I just don’t really want to marry them.”


“H’m. Interesting.” The wise man rubs his long beard. “That sounds about right.”


“Oh thank you so so so much!” You run out with a burst of relief.


Your boo is waiting with bated breath. “And…?!”


“I’m sorry, the wise man said that we can’t get married.”


*          *          *


I posted to Facebook asking your opinions and out of the 230 interactions from comments and likes, 91% of you agree with that story above.


211 interactions made mention that blaming God for a breakup is “bogus” a “copout” or “a crock of crazy Mormon horse [etc]” and “letting God do your dirty work.”


19 interactions said “in rare cases” “it can happen.”


Whatever you feel, I can say that this is a personal topic.


…especially for me.


God has dumped me through three girls.




And frankly, I’m a little tired of it.


I have heard many times the sentiment, ‘It is a big decision, so OF COURSE God cares so He will give revelation.”


That is assuming that if God cares, He will give direct answers.


  • When I wondered if I should go to BYU or not for my undergrad, I got nothing.
  • When I pondered about starting a company, I got nothing.
  • When I prayed about going to get my MBA or PhD, I got nothing.
  • When I plead for an answer about taking one internship or another, I got nothing.


I got nothing because God was trying to give me something more important than an answer—an opportunity to use my agency.


I thought it out, made a decision, prayed and then just went forward. And I made the right decision because I made my decision. Does not God care about the righteous desires of our heart?


So why do so many people blame God for break ups? Because revelation and obedience is engrained in us. And that is wonderful! But, when we focus so much on revelation that we forget about agency, then we are following some one else’s plan entirely.


Now, I do believe that God will intervene in some rare circumstances, but even in those cases, it is cowardly and cheap to blame it on Him. Take responsibility. It is not “God made me do this,” but rather, “I don’t feel good about this.”


I believe that God respects our agency and so should we.


What good does it do to tell someone that God broke up with them?




So yes, date, pray, decide and get an answer, but then, in the end, if the Lord has a contrary opinion, don’t make yourself a martyr and the other a sacrificial lamb. For in the end, aren’t we all commanded to “be wise” ourselves?


Now…a message to all those whom God “dumped”:


Don’t worry.


God is not talking bad about you behind your back.


If you are in good standing with Him, then don’t let another’s “revelation” dictate your relationship with Him.


No matter the excuse, if they don’t want to be with you, they don’t want to be with you and hence, you can do better. Be grateful they made the choice before you eventually had to.



The 7 D’s of Dating Direction Despite Divorce

dating after divorce


“Hey, so I don’t mean for this to be awkward, but can I ask you a personal question?”


I had found out the night that we met that she had been married, but in talking with a mutual friend, I wasn’t sure if she was actually divorced yet. What added to the slight awkwardness of this phone call was that I was supposed to pick her up for our date…in an hour.


“Sure!” She bounced back.


“So are you actually divorced or just separated?”


“Oh…[stammer]…well I called the court today and the papers are in the mail. [silence] So as of this morning I’m divorced!




I googled it. There is no website for what to do on a date with a girl that was hours divorced.


So we went to a restaurant…


Where she cried about her ex. (understandably)


I recommended some great therapists.


Our second date was postponed…indefinitely.


I am getting to the stage in life where if someone my age hasn’t been divorced–or at least a broken engagement–it is almost a red flag. *ALMOST* (I can already see the angry commenters for that one.)


But how do you get back into dating after a divorce, or just even a serious breakup? How do you actually put yourself out there again after going through one of the most awful experiences of your life?


Granted, I’ve never been divorced, so I had one of my good friends who is a divorced single mom help me out with this list.


  1. Don’t Rush. Time is base on heart, not calendar. Don’t say that you will date in 2 months or 2 years…just pray every day to be ready to date and then give yourself the time you need.
  2. Dress Well! Work from the outside in. The first thing she did was go out shopping with one of the straight gay best friends and got all new clothes. She had been reduced to “mom jeans” (in her words) and that just did not show of her curvy personality well enough. Don’t go all true religion on your closet, but still try.
  3. Date with ZERO Expectations. You just had your heart broken, give yourself a breath and don’t try to think if this is your new baby’s daddy. Just enjoy the ride.
  4. Don’t Disqualify. Beware the ‘I hate guys/girls’-syndrome. Know that not everyone is your ex. Give people a chance and realize the dangers in dating those not of your faith if you are looking to have an LDS-centric life.
  5. Deserve Love. Be CONFIDENT! You are beautiful, handsome and wonderful and deserve to fall in love…yes, even again.
  6. Destroy Discouragement. Realize it ain’t easy! It’s okay to be hurt and know that things aren’t going to always work out, but in the end they will.
  7. Date! Yeah…actually do it. Get your kids a babysitter, stop making excuses and date. Ladies, flirt. Gentlemen, ask.


But what do you think?


If you have been divorced, what advice would you give? And what advice would you have to people trying to date you?


If you have dated someone that is divorced, what is the best way you’ve found to approach the topic?


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The Most Cowardly Way to Break Up: SABOTAGE


drink grinch

I was in my second week of dating this wonderful girl who had things together, but for some reason, I wanted to break up. I guess I wasn’t ‘feeling it,’ whatever that means.


The was one small problem: I was chicken liver sissy pants scared.


So I did the only self-respecting thing there was to do, something that you all have done, something that plagues our generation like selfie-itis–I sabotaged.


I convinced her I hated Christmas…her favorite thing in the world.


I told her I hated Christmas music, trees, cinnamon smell, fires, movies, santa…everything.


She, realizing this could very well be a sign that I was a complete moron, dumped me.


A sigh of relief washed over me.


See, this way, I can get sympathy for being dumped, not make her feel bad for getting dumped AND still be single!


A disgustingly sourly(?) sickening success.


But on the way home I suddenly had a realization (be it from God or common sense, I’m not sure): Zack, you are going to be single for the rest of your life, you twit.


Why did I just do that? I thought. Oh man…this was a huge mistake!!!


I explained to her that I actually loved Christmas. Everything about it. Well, okay, I don’t like setting up the tree, but besides that, EVERYthing. I confessed that I had just gotten scared that things were getting more serious and I wanted her to break up with me. But now I realize that I do like her and I don’t have to be scared and that there was no need to break up! We could stay together!


She, realizing this was a sign that I was a complete moron…reaffirmed her dumping me.


#foreveralone (#fornow)


Lesson Learned: Don’t be a coward. Own up to your fears. Own up to your feelings. It is okay to be scared, but talk about it with the person you are dating, don’t run. Just because you get cold feet doesn’t mean you should amputate them. Relationship sabotage only is stabbing your own back.



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Three Symptoms and Remedies of Post-BreakUp Loneliness

lonliness break up

The days and weeks after a breakup can be confusing, frustrating and depressing. The pangs of loneliness lead your little lost heart to a land that ranges from unhealthy to introspective…namely, missing.


But what kind of missing is it, really? The misdiagnosis of loneliness had resulted in dire side effects such as contracting desperateness or being contaminated with douchitis.


After years of observations, I’ve tried to take an outside, sterile and semi-scientific (not at all scientific) perspective by removing all emotions (impossible) to analyze a breakup, both from primary, secondary and Nicolas Sparks. The current hypothesis: there are three types of “missing,” or loneliness, and it is CRITICAL that we do not confuse the three to appropriately treat the ailment.


1) Loneliness because you miss the friendship


Symptoms: Typically a flavor of loneliness found in the female variety. The male is easy to adapt and move on. Females will often call the males through private messages, usually to just “chat” when they are driving home or doing their laundry. Males consider this “torture.” After a certain amount of time, it appears the relationship loses its excitement and moves into a comfortable rhythm. It is at this point that a breakup occurs, leaving the party who initiated the “time apart” to feel like they just lost a friend…because they did. And they need to deal with that and not drag people along.


Remedies: It is prescribed that males go to the movies, do not reach out and find someone else. Females…just remember, sometimes the meanest thing you can be is nice.


2) Loneliness because you miss A relationship


Symptoms: Both genders of humans tend to desire to be loved. It is a foreign concept that often has roots in “daddy-issues.” There is a comfort and security that is craved, so after a breakup, both males and females will begin to call old flings and those they had on their proverbial “back burner even though they said they had ‘eyes for no one else, baby.'”


Remedies: Go kiss someone. Anyone will do. The dosage will depend on how much the severity of pain within the chest cavity, but typically one to two doses of a light NCMO or “summer loving,” as it is often called, within one week of the emotional trauma will aid in the healing process. (…and then go get in touch with yourself because you need to learn how to be good with being just you before you can be a good you+1)



3) Loneliness because you miss THAT relationship


Symptoms: Measured by a frequent glossy-eyed look typical in crying, sad contemplation or pent up frustration. This can be the source of listening to “your song,” the desire to contact the other party, looking at their profile on Facebook to see if they are hanging out with that ratchet you are sure they like, and/or hoping that every time that stupid blinkey light is flashing on your phone it is some form of communication from them.


Remedies: Inconclusive… (other than disabling that stupid little blinkey thing.)



In the final analysis, it has been determined that looking for alternative methods of human companionship, limiting contact and genuinely hoping the best for the other party are the only ways to establish an environment to allow the next relationsperiment to germinate properly.






A Caution for Kindness: Girls, DO NOT Do This

cupid hit both


Sometimes, the meanest thing you can be is nice.


Before I get into this I just need to say something: this post is going to be a little harsh, but I am speaking on behalf of men and not angrily to one girl. (I’ve already forgiven you…if you’re even reading this…and based on how often you still contact me…you probably are.)



You met a guy. He is super nice and you rated him a 7 at first, but after a few date found out that you actually kind of like him. You are worried that maybe he isn’t the most attractive and isn’t terribly social and doesn’t have a solid career path, but you know that he deserves a chance and while you aren’t quite over your ex, you realize that you need to move on and he is the guy that has been pursuing and not to mention that you just kissed and so think that you are ready to DTR into a positive place.



The girl actually likes you. She is kind of out of your league, but she laughs at your jokes and if you can get her to like you enough before she realizes that you are a closet-gamer, then you could really make this into something special.


And time goes on…dating starts and maybe even a little kissing, who knows?


But there is only so long a duck and an eagle can be together before the eagle feels like they are being held back and the break up ensues.


Now is where things get awful.


The girl says that things aren’t working and still wants to be friends. The guy blubbingly agrees because…well, what else is he supposed to say?


Then the girl takes the whole “friends” literally, something the guy had NO intention of doing. She is lonely, so she calls him to talk, text, and occasionally lunch. Just to be nice.


NICE?! Seriously?


You think staying a part of his life and reminding him that he wasn’t good enough for you to help you not feel lonely is “nice?”


Just leave the poor guy alone. In three years you will be married or not talking. Stop pretending you can keep your “buddy” who really likes you when you have a husband. You are doing nothing but selfishly parading around your broken heart–which you, all by yourself, took a hammer to. You martyr yourself and make him bear the cross. You are l-i-t-e-r-a-l-l-y (not literally) killing them with kindness. 


The game is a catch and release. Not catch and drag him, hook in mouth, all the way back to shore.


The only difference between your loneliness and his is that you know there isn’t a chance for the future–he doesn’t. Empty hope has tried and dried more hearts a thousand times over than breakups ever have.


Non-sexist Note: The same goes for guys towards girls…it is just a lot more rare because the guy, well, quite frankly the guy just forgets about the girl and finds someone else. #sorrywedontcaremore

Snarky Note: Yeah, I know that blubbingly isn’t a word, you gallyfrudge.

3 Be’s to Better a Bad Break Up

Taylor swift break up

It was a dark cold time in my life. Months earlier, I had fallen completely in love and told everyone about it. I just knew that we would get married and she would be with me in 50 years, hand-in-hand on our porch rocking chair speaking at a family reunion telling of our fairytale love…it was so clear in my mind, that I just knew it would work out.


…well, it didn’t.


She dumped me.


And I was heartbroken.


I spent the next three months waking up every morning and staring at the ceiling for hours thinking, ‘If i just lay here long enough, I wonder if I could die so I don’t have to face today.’


bride in the ocean

It was hard because I feel like love is this island that is off the safe shores of casual dating. We start to get into the water with dating more seriously and then at some point, our feet leave the ocean floor and we just give ourselves to the possibility of reaching that island. But for me, when I felt like the island was just in reach, a mill stone was placed around my neck and I started drowning. When I finally dragged myself back to the shore, I ran from the water and never wanted to go back. It took three years to be willing to even dip my toes into that water again.


But let me tell you what I learned when I came out of those three years:


I am worth being loved and I deserve to love.


Some of you may have lost love, some may have never found it and others may be in a relationship as that love is slipping away–to all of you, I promise that love is real, love is out there and love is for you. Do not fear, for fear will drag you down. Realize that the pain is a cross you must bear for a short while, but you will breathe again….I super pinky promise. If you think I’m wrong, let’s go out to frozen yogurt and you can just vent to me.

drowning cross love

You must take the risk for love, though. Keep putting yourself out there and ask out one more girl. Write a really sweet note (NOT CREEPY) to that one person you’ve always had a crush on. I’ve usually found that they will reciprocate, even if it is to let you know that they don’t think of you that way so you can move on.


So here they are…3 Be’s to Better a Bad Break Up:

1. Be sad.

Seriously. It is oooooookay to feel bad and sad and mad and not glad. Just don’t stay there.

2. Be yourself.

We can always improve, but don’t do it on account of getting back at the other person or trying to make yourself available to the other person. Just do you.

3. Be open to the possibility of love again.

I know it won’t be right away, but pray every day to have your heart open to the possibility of love and be willing to dip your toes in the water again if the chance comes along.


I know it isn’t easy, but I promise the trepidation of trying is mitigated only by realizing that you’ve survived the worst. And once that is behind you, well, then the good stuff comes.