Virgin on the net

How can he drop Nadine without losing her friendship? Digby Ponder seeks out some online advice

Wednesday 1 May: 21.03.57

Posted in alt.newsgroups.relationships

To whom it may concern. I have a problem. I believe that the relationship that I have with a woman is coming to the end of its natural life. It's nobody's fault: we are simply taking different forks in existence's road. I am sure that a recognition of our need for separateness would be good for both of us.

But although I'm certain that N is subconsciously aware of all this, I don't think that, consciously, she would agree at all. If you like she's in denial - except before there's anything to deny. She will, no doubt, recall that only two weeks ago I agreed that now might perhaps be the right time for children and (mid-coitum) told her how much I cared.

So here's my question. How can I tell her that I think it's over in such a way as to preserve her dignity, maintain our friendship and avoid her dragging my mother (who has always liked N) into it? Advice and experience would be most welcome.

Sig Dig

Thursday 2 May: 22.43.05

Posted in alt.newsgroups.relationships

Many thanks to those of you who have listed serious answers to my plea for help. To Bren's suggestion that I should "do it when she's drunk", all I can say is that we do things differently in Crouch End. Likewise for the list from Berkeley students, including "write an article about it and ask her to proofread it".

I take Andy's point about doing it face-to-face and also about the desirability of telling her in a public place, so as to contain the emotional outburst. Thanks for Tyler's warning that restaurants and cafes are better suited for this than cinemas or opera houses. Tyler, your suggestions make a lot of sense. I agree that it's important to convey the idea that this is the product of much agonising, rather than a spur-of-the-moment thing. How about "I've been doing a lot of thinking"?

I was attracted to Kurt's strategy for making N do the deed herself, by being sulky and disagreeable for a stretch. But this seems like it would take a very long time. And I am not naturally either sulky or disagreeable.

An additional complication is that we share a rented flat and one of us will have to move out, with all the trouble over CD collections and casserole dishes that this will cause. More thoughts?

Sig Dig

Friday 3 May: 20.53.36

Dear Hera. I had no idea that you were connected to the Net, let alone cruising it for references to Digby Ponder and Crouch End. I seem to remember that the last time we spoke about it (at a somewhat frosty dinner party here) you were of the opinion that the Internet was strangling normal human interaction and was a tool of male mystification and oppression.

Of course you may well tell Nadine that I was seeking advice on how to "dump her" (in your inelegant phrase). But before you do you ought to know that I was actually researching for my novel of male crisis, seeking first-hand information on how unreconstructed men deal with the women in their lives. Frankly, there may be more in common between us than you have given me credit for.

Yours, Digby

Friday 3 May: 21.16.43

Dear Hera. Don't worry about it. It's odd how we can walk about for years with a completely erroneous impression of someone and then, pow!, a chance collision and it's time for a reappraisal. Please e-mail me a North London Internet Feminist's Newsletter. I would be interested. And yes, the issue of feminist attitudes to pornography is a matter that intrigues me, so put me down for that as well.

Digby

Friday 3 May: 22.56.00

Dear Hera. Wouldn't she? She has always told me that you hate my guts and were recommending that she should give me the boot. "Insensitive slob" is the description that comes to mind. So I think that balances the "Harpy from Hell". Although I must admit I often did wonder whether there wasn't more to you than that.

Sig Dig

Sunday 5 May: 09.24.48

Dear Hera. I am sitting here in a state of shock. Last night, Nadine took me to the Tarama Delight and over a Stifado told me it was over. Just like that! My disagreeable and sulky behaviour had convinced her that there was no future for us, she said. This morning she moved out, taking all the casserole dishes, but leaving me the CDs. I feel cast off, all confidence gone, dumped. Did you know this was about to happen? Can you help?

Sig Dig (in despair)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - ASP.Net, C#

    £28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business IT support compan...

    Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager / New Product Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company mission is to be th...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Developer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The Company sells mobile video advertising sol...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project