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)

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

    £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

    C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

    C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

    £60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

    Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

    £75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

    Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

    The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
    The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

    The Open 2014

    Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?