To deploy the slow fade means to gradually end communication. This can be for a variety of reasons, but often it is because someone is no longer interested in you. It is a very passive way of letting someone go, but it can feel a lot like ghosting.
When someone forgets you tried to communicate with them via phone, email, or text, then it is possible that the slow fade has started. This frequently escalates into more communication problems. Friends often get roped into the shenanigans, as they are forced to take sides or cover up the lack of communication. The slow fade can take its toll on everyone, rendering any communication awkward and short.
Cliff and Robin had been dating for a while, but something felt off lately. Cliff had talked about having problems with his ex, even saying that she had gotten a little weird at the end of their relationship. Robin didn’t realize that the slow fade had begun until he stopped responding as quickly to her messages and started showing up late for time together. The writing was on the wall, and their relationship ended soon after.