I've never been a big fan of the phase-out myself, but when executed correctly I have been convinced as of late that it can be a beautiful thing.
Just so we're clear: the phase-out is that oft used dating mechanism to dispose of someone who you always suspected was rather worthless (but dated anyway because you are bored and require constant stimulation). Those little things they do that struck you at times as charming, become anything but.
Example 1: The gentleman in question lets you buy him a beer; at first it seems charming and Dutch-like. You're a modern woman, one who is gainfully employed and ballerific to the extreme, I mean, it's cute to return the favor sometimes. Then you offer a second time and he accepts. Before you know it you are in a truly nightmare scenario that requires you not only look the part of a trophy girlfriend (an expensive feat, I assure you) but contribute to all dates equally. Call me old fashioned, but this is grounds for immediate phase out-age.
Or consider example two: You decide to broach the topic of current affairs over dinner; he turns out to be not only conservative but dim as a 70's lightbulb (one might venture that these attributes go hand in hand, and really I wouldn't oppose you if you did). This is grounds for outright dumping but I find that the phase out is a more charitable approach.
Three: He goes commando and insists on lounging around on your couch- naked- and smoking a cigarette- post coitus. A girl's upholstery is precious and any man that doesn't recognize this is not worth his salt. Phase Out.
And so on and so forth.
The phase-out can be broken down into a relatively simple science.
For instance, one is encouraged to begin with excuses about work, as this is unanimously relatable. A simple "Sorry babe, so busy today/this week/ forever!" works wonders. When the gentleman in question offers to gallantly fight your boss for caging you in like a rabid monkey, it is upon the lady to escalate the phase-out. Cold and calculating, the move here is to cease response to all forms of communication. This will invariably beg messages of the below variety:
"Are you okay?"
"I JUST WANT TO KNOW YOU"RE ALIVE"
"You're a real bitch, you know that?"
"I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking, I'm just so worried about you."
Stay strong, ladies.
Even when he shows up outside your door with a guitar and a long stemmed red rose, with a song he composed for you titled "Your Love is a Disease" (worthy of another post but needless to say this DID happen), one must crack her door ever so slightly (leaving the chain ON) and re-iterate one's intention to phase the pursuer out.
Even if he cries and threatens suicide (and he will), don't relent.
And for all the pain and suffering that will be caused over the course of your Phasing Out careers, know this. 1 time out of every 10 this is performed, the gentleman in question will be trying to perform a phase out of his own on you. And there is nothing more satisfying than sharing a genuinely mutual contempt for the person you have been unenthusiastically boning for the last 2 months.
And this makes it all worth it in the end.