Dealing with ‘the fade’

Snow day chat at 1.

Hello Meredith:

I am recently divorced after 18 years and am 42 years old. I joined an on-line dating site on New Year's Day to attempt to make 2014 better than 2013.

I need some advice/explanation about "the fade." I'm looking to date men between 40-50 and have been very surprised that games are still actively played in this age group. These are busy men with kids, mortgages, careers, etc. At some point in a 50-year-old's life, shouldn't honesty be mastered as a life skill? I had a fabulous date with a professional, divorced, dad and we had a lot in common. Fantastic kiss at the end of the date. Calls and texts for the week after. Then POOF (!) he's gone without a trace. Never made it to second date ... what gives?

– The Fade, Attleboro

This happens in the world of online dating. After an outing or two, people can just ... disappear. It's so easy to vanish, especially if you don't have any mutual friends.

The best way to deal with the fade is to date a lot of people. I don't want you to exhaust yourself, but as you look for partners online, keep your options open -- and don't stop searching for new people until you're at date five with someone with plans for six.

People play games, especially online, because there are pages and pages of new faces. They assume they have unlimited options -- and maybe they just like the how it feels to send a message and get a response. Sadly, this doesn't get much better with age.

Cast a wide net and try to keep your excitement in check until after date three. And consider widening that age range -- maybe from 38 to 50. There's no need to limit yourself.

Readers? Any trick to coping with people fading away? Do these games get better after a certain age? Help.

– Meredith