Reader Megarita left an interesting comment in yesterday’s post concerning breaking up a blogationship (glad to see we’re all coining ridiculous words now). Her question was: “How can I de-link without injuring delicate feelings?”
Tough stuff. But very doable, and if anyone knows how it’s me. I’ve been through every kind of break-up imaginable, from the long term relationship break-up to the “We never should have spent the night together in the first place” break-up to the “Actually, Dan, we’re not even dating” break-up, which was particularly painful because my excuse for breaking it off was that I thought we were moving too fast.
In theory, the blogeak-up (OK, that one doesn’t work) should be easier than a real life break-up due primarily to the fact that you don’t have to see the person face to face to do it.* Which reminds me of what was probably the most problematic break-up I ever encountered, with a girl I met in college:
My buddy Matt and I were hanging out at my apartment over the summer, and as he was out on the fire escape having a drink I suddenly heard him screaming, “Hey ladies! Where are you going?” Twenty minutes later we were meeting two girls at a bar around the corner. The only problem was that, from my second story apartment, Matt couldn’t really tell how tall “my” girl was. “My” girl ended up being a solid three inches taller than me. While she had no problem with it, I did. Unfortunately I was lonely at the time, going through the fourth of seven break-ups with my college girlfriend, so the relationship lasted about two weeks. During that time I loaned her a book, which by the way is a great way to woo a smart girl. Unless of course you plan on breaking up with her fairly soon and you want to get the book back.
In this case, I had no problem going with the “Just stop calling” method. We had only seen each other about three times and she was a full forehead taller than me. No surprises here. The problem was getting the book back. So the next time she invited me to here apartment (I think it was to watch a movie I had already seen three times – is there anything more painful than REwatching a movie with someone you don’t even like?), I programmed my cell phone in advance to the section where you can choose your ring tone. After being at her apartment for about 10 minutes, I discreetly reached into my pocket and pressed the button that would play the selected ring tone. Making pretend it was a real phone call, I took my phone out of my pocket and pretended to answer it. I had this imaginary conversation:
No one: “. . .”
Me: “Oh hey, what’s going on?”
No one: “. . .”
Me: “You’re at my apartment now? Why are yo-‘
No one: “. . .”
Me: “Ok, Ok I’m on my way. I’m a few blocks over, I’ll be there in about five minutes.”
No one: “. . .”
Me: (to girl) “Marty, . . .”
(OK, maybe here is a good time to note that I once hooked up with a girl named Marty. Besides the fact that the ONLY thing I could think of every time I looked at her was Marty McFly or how if she ever farted in front of another person, they would refer to her as Farty Marty for the rest of her life; but when I was first introduced to her (me being drunk already) we had this interaction:
Me: (to Marty’s friend) “Hey, I’m Dan. Nice to meet you.”
Her friend: “I’m Heather. Nice to meet you too. And this is my friend Marty.”
Me: (shaking Marty’s hand) “Marty? That’s a boy’s name.”
How we still made out that night is beyond me. I can only imagine that Marty and I miraculously crossed paths at the loneliest points of our lives and our time together was based entirely on the premise “Why not?”
Back to the conversation . . .)
Me: “Marty, I’m really sorry. But a friend of mine is at my apartment now. I forgot he was coming by to pick up some stuff for school.”
Marty: “Oh, that’s no problem. We’ll do it another night.”
Me: “Yeah. By the way, do you have that book I lent you? I actually need it for a paper I’m working on for my English class.”
No doubt, one of the lamest moments of my dating career. But it worked fine. And as though Marty somehow saw through my steel curtain of deception, she never called me again either.
So how does this translate to breaking off a blogationship? It doesn’t really. I mean, you could write the person an email saying, “Hey remember that link of yours I borrowed? I’m going to need to return that. Oh, hold on a sec, I’m getting a call . . .” But that makes no sense.
The best thing you can do is just delete the link. If they call you out on it, make pretend you have no idea what they’re talking about. Write them an email in response that says, “Saw your blog. It’s great! Keep up the good work.”
Or, when all else fails, there’s always honesty. Well not honesty, but making pretend to be honest. Something like, “Listen Daily Dump, your blog has gotten too good to be liked on my page. I’m bringing you down. So I’ve decided to set you free. I can’t stand the thought of being the proverbial cement block chained to your blog. Go! Take off! Be the bloggebrity I always knew you could be! And most importantly, don’t take no for an answer.”
As a last resort, for a nominal fee I will send them anonymous, untraceable threats to shut down their blog or I will harm their family. That’s The Daily Dump – all about helping.
* If you’re delinking a friend that you know outside of the blogosphere, and you will actually be forced to come face to face with this person in the future, there’s really no way to do it. Unless maybe you sleep with them, and tell them you’re delinking them immediately post-orgasm. Right after sex, The Girlfriend once told me she accidentally deleted an episode of “Lost” off my Tivo. I think I replied, “Whatever.”