Click here to DTMFA August 31, 2011 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Can we put Miko's Breakup Guidelines somewhere as a permanent link at the top of AskMeFi or like in the New Question page guidelines?

It seems like this should be default advice in absolutely any 'how do I dump him/her' question to the point where it's almost like a site FAQ. Maybe a permanent side bar? Seems it would save a lot of people from having to post it in every break up thread. For example here.
posted by spicynuts to Feature Requests at 11:46 AM (106 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I've been wondering: is there any way to track the most re-linked (around the site) comment? (Or, if it's easier, which one has the most favorites?) Because every time I see Miko's sage advice come up, I think that this has gotta be the one.

Maybe there should be a page on the wiki with the best/most recommended advice? (Is there one already? I'm kind of wiki-inept.)
posted by phunniemee at 11:49 AM on August 31, 2011


It is not generalist enough to cover every situation.

While it is great advice for many situations I wish people would be a little less knee-jerky about recommending it for everything from the creepy dude you've been dating for a month to your partner of 20 years who just got diagnosed with spinal cancer.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:00 PM on August 31, 2011 [36 favorites]


Sure, it looks like great advice now, but you don't want to know what the deleted #5 was. Good lord.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:04 PM on August 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


creepy dude you've been dating for a month

Aww, I think the guy is just doing what he thinks woment want men to do, however wrong it might be. He is just being sickeningly sweet, not creepy.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:06 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]




i suggested it specifically for the situation. it wasn't a knee jerk post. i read the question twice, read miko's advice twice and then posted it, thinking it fit perfectly.

also, after i posted it, i was curious and looked, it has been favorited at least once a month since it was posted in april of 2008. that's pretty impressive.
posted by nadawi at 12:09 PM on August 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been wondering: is there any way to track the most re-linked (around the site) comment?

You can do a site search for a comment's id; that should turn up every instance of someone linking to it in a comment or post elsewhere, with possibly a false positive here or there for chance numerical collisions.

So, for example, a search on all sites for the id of Miko's comment in question yields these results—3 posts and 46 comments, at the moment, most of the comments on askme but a few in metatalk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:10 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


That comment has a lot of great qualities, but now that I've had a chance to give it some thought, I realize that it isn't really right for me. I know it will go on to do great things for other MeFites, though.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:22 PM on August 31, 2011 [30 favorites]


I've been wondering: is there any way to track ... which one has the most favorites?

Yes.
posted by John Cohen at 12:24 PM on August 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


If we're talking about answers we'd like to break up with, I'm sick to death of "flip a coin and while it's flipping, you'll magically know what you want to do by!" Does that actually work for anyone? I'm skeptical.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:29 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


want to do by the time it lands.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:29 PM on August 31, 2011


Aww, I think the guy is just doing what he thinks woment want men to do, however wrong it might be. He is just being sickeningly sweet, not creepy.

What about being offensive and rude in response to a delicate personal disclosure is sickeningly sweet?

Maybe we are thinking about different people.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:30 PM on August 31, 2011


*flips coin*

Nope.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:31 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The coinflip advice I recall is "flip a coin, and if you aren't happy with the answer, do the other thing". Which is a bit less magical at least, but mostly I think the big problem is that anything that can be cleanly resolved with a coinflip would probably have led to a goddam coinflip already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:33 PM on August 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow, I've never seen the coin flip answer here -- but I used to do it all the time. But as an excuse to do bad behavior. And then if I didn't like it, I'd do best 2 out of 3. Eventually, I just started either giving myself permission or not, but I still find myself fishing around for a coin sometimes.

(I eventually stopped this behavior when I'd downloaded an iPhone app just for this purpose and realized I'd be really embarrassed if someone asked me what I was doing.)

posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:34 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


If we're talking about answers we'd like to break up with, I'm sick to death of "flip a coin and while it's flipping, you'll magically know what you want to do by!" Does that actually work for anyone? I'm skeptical.

If you're as severely ADHD as I am, you forget your confusion by the time you find a coin, think "why was I looking for a coin? Oh hey it's my gum!" and then spend the rest of the afternoon playing Tetris.

Doesn't help with decision making, but does put the relative importance of making the decision NOW NOW NOW in perspective.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:34 PM on August 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Does that actually work for anyone? I'm skeptical.

Well, I guess it worked for Twoface.
posted by odinsdream at 12:35 PM on August 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Half the time, anyway.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:36 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ugh, I needed those last week. Except:

"2. But for whatever reason, I'm not feeling strongly enough about this, and I know that it's important to meyou to have that strong connection by now"

At least I got across the "it's not you, it's me," thing.

I'm sorry.
posted by Eideteker at 12:39 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


He is just being sickeningly sweet, not creepy.

Much like in rom-coms, the difference between romantic and creepy is often how the recipient feels about the giver, not the actions themselves. If it's wanted, otherwise creepy actions can seem sweet. And vice-versa.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:40 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


What about being offensive and rude in response to a delicate personal disclosure is sickeningly sweet?

Well we don't know what it was. It could be anything. It could be "Hey, I am 20k in debt and am going bankrupt" and he replied "Its ok snookums, I just want to take care of you 4ever here is 20k" Which many people would be offended by.

I'm also not sure being offensive is the same as being creepy.

It isn't my place to defend some guy I don't even know so I'm going shut up now.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:44 PM on August 31, 2011


Much like in rom-coms, the difference between romantic and creepy is often how the recipient feels about the giver, not the actions themselves. If it's wanted, otherwise creepy actions can seem sweet. And vice-versa.

True, I hate to showboat my encyclopedic knowlege of "The Real World" but I am reminded of The Real World London , the punk rock guy's girlfriend sent him a cow heart wrapped in barbed wire for valentines day. He thought it was creepy, when he confronted her about it she thought sending him an actual heart was really sweet. Little did she know he had already fallen in love with Kat and was planning on leaving her.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:53 PM on August 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


It is good, but it's still basically "it's not you, it's me" with a bit of class.

The truth for most of us is closer to "It's not you or me; it's us." I'd be much, much more impressed by someone who could put that over perfectly.
posted by Decani at 12:53 PM on August 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


What about being offensive and rude in response to a delicate personal disclosure is sickeningly sweet?

that sentence is so open to interpretation. it's easy to take it at it's worst. however, i am a person with some really horrific things banging around in my past and when i've shared that, sometimes people without bad shit in their past have reacted or responded less than favorably (to put it very lightly). by and large they weren't bad people, they just didn't know how to react and ended up saying something shitty. i guess that's why i'm a little more forgiving without more details about that.

i agree that the like between creepy and sweet is almost invisible sometimes and that she should protect herself first. her question wasn't about how to see him in his worst light, though. it was "How do I gently and nicely dump him?" you don't really have to go on the offensive about him to answer that.
posted by nadawi at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The truth for most of us is closer to "It's not you or me; it's us."

I think part of what works about this method is that it doesn't matter what the truth is.

Also, I don't think it would work for a relationship that was much more established than early-stage dating.
posted by Miko at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


i agree that the like between creepy and sweet is almost invisible sometimes and that she should protect herself first. her question wasn't about how to see him in his worst light, though. it was "How do I gently and nicely dump him?" you don't really have to go on the offensive about him to answer that.

In a world where women are socialized to give the benefit of the doubt to every man with a pulse, yeah, I think it's important to support the asker's gut feeling that there is something significantly off and/or undesirable with this guy.

If you think that's going on the offensive, well, good thing he's not here to read my super mean opinion that being negative and offensive to someone you're dating when they disclose sensitive information is a bad thing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:08 PM on August 31, 2011


i think you can tell a woman to follow her gut without demonizing him. in fact, i think it's more useful. "you are the only one that can know, and you think something is wrong, follow that instinct." that gives her all the power and all the agency. i think too harsh of a tact could actually have the opposite effect "oh, i don't think he's that bad. maybe i described him wrong. maybe i should give him another shot..."
posted by nadawi at 1:11 PM on August 31, 2011


Yeah, you're right about that. It's a fine line and something I think about in every relationship advice thread. I rarely to never advise someone to dump their significant other because I think it does backfire.

Anyway, nadawi, my earlier response to you was overly fighty, and I apologize. I am in a bad mood due to other things and will be stepping away from the internets for a little bit.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:16 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not you or me; it's the restraining order.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:17 PM on August 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


It is good, but it's still basically "it's not you, it's me" with a bit of class.

The truth for most of us is closer to "It's not you or me; it's us." I'd be much, much more impressed by someone who could put that over perfectly.


Exactly. I've always thought Miko's advice, and the rave reviews thereof, was somewhat odd in that it prioritizes extreme flattery of the other person and convincing them they're in no way responsible, regardless of whether this is the truth. Sure it's eloquent and would work for some situations, but I wouldn't call it the best AskMe advice on how to tactfully break up with someone. I wouldn't even call it the best advice in that thread. I wouldn't even call it the best advice from Miko in that thread!

If anyone ever said this whole list of things to me, I would hope to have the presence of mind to say: "Come on, admit it: it wasn't just you. It was me too." (And maybe that's part of the point, though that would seem to be a rather Rube Goldberg-esque maneuver.)
posted by John Cohen at 1:18 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I sort of think of it tactically. Like, what is the outcome you are trying to achieve. If you want to be unequivocally broken up without either person feeling demoralized or rage-y, that might be a good approach. If you want to get some sort of closure that involves telling someone what you really think, that might not be the best approach. What I like about it when spelled out like that is that it's clear that you can't do all the things you want to in a breakup situation. There has to be a certain amount of triage. Knowing that, that there will be fallout and/or damage or whatever, this has always seemed to me like more of a harm reduction approach than any attempt to be 100% truthful or 100% just say-anything-to-get-out-of-therre. Given that there is no outcome [assuming the other person does not, in fact, want to be broken up with] that will be considered positive by both parties, I'd think you'd want to try to aim for the lowest combined damage score, but maybe that's optimistic.

Anyhow, I know there are a lot of people who have various critiques of the approach, but there's something nice and formulaic about it that I think appeals to this sort of crowd.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:29 PM on August 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


Re: the coinflip thing, in my experience the way it works is that most of the time when you are trying to make up your mind you really have already decided which of two choices you want but are feeling indecisive, so the coinflip forces you to confront what you really wanted in the first place.

Of course this tends to be for like decisions about whether you want to order pizza or Chinese, so I'm not about to post it in any AskMes.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:36 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The advice actually sounds dickish and too concerned with painting the breaker upper as a nice and awesome person.

If you're not into some then just say it. Don't act like you're doing them a favor by dumping them so they'll be primed and ready for that fabulous person they meet later. It may have perfect for the situation it was used in and applicable in others, but it's far from a one size fits all solution.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:36 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Come on, admit it: it wasn't just you. It was me too."

In addition to what Jessamyn said, I think that this was essentially true even when this happened to me. It was me; the upshot is I wasn't the guy's type, and for that reason it wasn't going anywhere.

However, it was presented considerately and sensitively and respectfully, and it honored me as a human being by giving that discussion a reasonable amount of time and space in which a range of feelings could be acknowledged, (even the 'road not taken' aspect for both parties which did come back to bite in interesting and weird ways IRL) but the outcome wouldn't change. It was honest in that it wasn't about lying or histrionics or manufacturing a fight or playing games or going on radio silence or other less mature forms of breakup - it didn't have to be a full, cold display of my inadequacy as a partner.
posted by Miko at 1:37 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Like, what is the outcome you are trying to achieve. If you want to be unequivocally broken up without either person feeling demoralized or rage-y, that might be a good approach. If you want to get some sort of closure that involves telling someone what you really think, that might not be the best approach. What I like about it when spelled out like that is that it's clear that you can't do all the things you want to in a breakup situation.

Yes, as I said, Miko's guidelines could work well in some situations, but I think the dilemma is more accurately laid out in other comments in that thread including Miko's own follow-up, where she clarified that she would prefer "uncomfortable honesty" to "gentle lies."
posted by John Cohen at 1:46 PM on August 31, 2011


"It's us" is probably more honest in a lot of cases, and I think it easily applies to established couples as well as new ones (if at the point of break-up). The problem with it is that "us" is something the other person may think can be fixed. "It's me" doesn't permit that opening.

The problem, however, is that "It's not you, it's me" is now so hackneyed it almost can't be used earnestly in romcoms anymore, which is saying something. At that level of pop culture saturation, you're probably better of with something else, because now it just reeks of "I'm not going to do you the courtesy of honesty, and I'm going to be transparent about even that."

And what shakespeherian said about the coin flip.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:56 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bah, better off.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:56 PM on August 31, 2011


I first saw the coin flip thing in this comment by jessamyn.
posted by desjardins at 1:57 PM on August 31, 2011


I learned it from Dave Berg in MAD Magazine, I am certan of it. Some couple was deciding which car to buy and flipped a coin and then were both pissed off that they hadn't gotten the other one [these were like 60's-70's era cars and I think one was a Nash. Anyone find that] and it was so clear in that coin flip and their reaction what they really wanted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:05 PM on August 31, 2011


Dave Berg was essentially the Dr. Phil of his time. Or Dr. Drew. One of them there Drs.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:10 PM on August 31, 2011


If we're talking about answers we'd like to break up with, I'm sick to death of "flip a coin and while it's flipping, you'll magically know what you want to do by!" Does that actually work for anyone? I'm skeptical.

Not exactly a coin flip, but I often find it's possible to figure out what I really want by gauging my reactions to how other people feel about my options. I suspect a coin flip works much the same way.

For example, I recently bought a sofa, and before I did, I posted a pro/con list for friends to take a look at and give me their opinions. Every time someone said anything less than positive about one of the options, I found myself getting pissy and defensive, whereas I didn't feel anything regardless of what they said about the other option. That told me which one I really wanted.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:41 PM on August 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


I feel pretty odd commenting on my comment from years ago, sorry if it seems weird. I can say that every time it comes up in a thread or at the top of my favorites list, I get a little sad pang from having to relive the thing a tiny bit. But whatever, that pang has faded in significance over time as I've relived it that many times. What's certain is that I certainly never imagined it would become a go-to MetaFilter. I'm glad if it's helped people but there are certainly elements of my participation here that I am much prouder of even if they are never referenced by anyone again.

I think Jessamyn's comment about how people around here respond to formulas is a good one to help explain why this comment has been popular. I can't find it now, but sometime within the last year there was a post by a woman who needed to break up with her live-in boyfriend and just was so stuck on how to do it. It's understandable, she'd never done anything like this before. I think there are a fair number of social-emotional projects which feel so heavy they can be just overwhelming, and if you've never watched anybody do them outside of on TV, you can't even imagine where you would begin, what you would say, what happens next, etc. In this post was a comment where a user realized the OP was just not able to visualize the event, and broke it down into a sort of to-do list: pack up your stuff, wait for the partner, break the news, have a pre-arrangement from a friend to take you out to dinner, and there you are.

Whether the script goes down exactly as laid out is not really the important part of a comment like that. The helpfulness is in rendering the difficult or unimaginable into a series of concrete actions. I hope I'll ruffle no feathers in saying that MeFites can be a little nervous about doing things right and a little socially awkward, and that's why these kinds of comments are very popular: they give you a start on envisioning how something that seems very big and scary can be broken down into components.

Rendering these recommendations as lists accounts for no small part of their power, either. Dollars to donuts if this same breakup comment were in paragraph form it wouldn't have caught so much attention.

Also, I do the coin-flip thing. You don't even have to really flip the coin - you can do it in your head. It does sort of work for me.
posted by Miko at 3:22 PM on August 31, 2011 [18 favorites]


I had to use the exact same speech way back in the 90's when I canceled AOL. They wouldn't take no for an answer. It took a while but I finally broke it off. AOL is so damn needy.
posted by Splunge at 4:15 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I never was able to break it off with AOL. I just cancelled all my credit cards and moved out of state. So far as they're concerned, we're still dating.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:28 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I stll think that it's a better option to tell the woman in question that she's a fine girl, and would make a good wife, but that your life, you love and your lady is the sea.
posted by jonmc at 5:36 PM on August 31, 2011 [19 favorites]


Nothing against Miko, and the advice is fine enough as far as it goes, but it doesn't always apply and it's one of those things that's a little too knee-jerk around here, IMO - like suggesting therapy or saying an uncomfortable situation is abusive or telling someone to lawyer up.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:56 PM on August 31, 2011


Having sat across the table from Miko and her beau, I can attest to her sincerity as a human being. She's a human being, like you and I are, and she is a wicked nice person. It's inherent in all of us New Englanders :-P

That said, she's wicked nice and I recommend her, as a descendant of William the Conqueror. I mean, I am, not she. I don't know who she's descended from. Oh wait. I'm not really descended from William the Conqueror but his vassal, Richard de Warrenne, who was supposed to have married his illegitimate daughter Gundreda. But that was later discounted so really, I'm not descended from William the Conqueror, but from one of his contemporaries. Robert or Richard de Warrenne. Who married someone named Isabella, who's father was Hugh the Great, who went back in time to all of the godddamn motherfucking Huns and Cro-Magnum bad-ass motherfuckers who beat all of your fucking sorry-ass motherfucking ancestors in battle.

So I say Miko's stuff stands and if any of you want to fight me on this, do your own research and by the way, we beat your asses at the Battle of Hastings.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:37 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Let's see - I'm descended from a bunch of Irish people and Quaker farmers and maybe some Native Americans. Nobody really famous although on my Mom's side we're related to the Seven Little Foys.

Thanks, Marie Mon Dieu! I certainly enjoyed sitting across the table from you and sharing in the wicked New England niceness.

But like I said, it's definitely understandable to critique how the comment has been used - that's something I never predicted or really intended and I can't really be responsible for how others use it, though I'm happy when I get notes in MeMail saying that it helped, which sometimes happens and is nice.
posted by Miko at 6:40 PM on August 31, 2011


True, I hate to showboat my encyclopedic knowlege of "The Real World" but I am reminded of The Real World London , the punk rock guy's girlfriend sent him a cow heart wrapped in barbed wire for valentines day. He thought it was creepy, when he confronted her about it she thought sending him an actual heart was really sweet.

IIRC, that's not how it went down. She sent him the aforementioned valentine with a note saying something like "This is the real world". He was perplexed and a bit angry because he didn't really understand what she was saying. It was backhanded and out of nowhere, or at least the show was edited that way. He then went way overboard and I think made three different and creative valentines as a rebuttal. Then finally went to her work and confronted her. Not exactly a calm and measured response.

Not proud I remember that but that was one of the few episodes I saw that season.

Anywho, I fall in the "be upfront, truthful, and deflect as little as possible" camp. That's not to say Miko's advice are not those things, but I've noticed that's generally not popular advice around these parts. Then again I generally don't get into relationships with people who don't do those things in the first place. Ergo: problem solved for me, and the world keeps turning.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:45 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe she also said that you should tell the young lady to go away and that you are no good for her, but only if her name is Dawn.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Coinflips fiddlesticks!
- Luke Rhinehart
posted by unliteral at 6:57 PM on August 31, 2011


Inspired by jonmc, here's my new advice.

1. At first, you're afraid. You're petrified. You think you can never live without them by your side.
2. You'll spend so many nights thinking how they did you wrong.
3. Then, grow strong.
4. Learn how to carry on.
posted by Miko at 7:00 PM on August 31, 2011 [18 favorites]


You forgot to change your locks. Or make them leave their key if you're short on cash.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2011


Post break-up, it's best to find a new home, preferably with swinging doors, a jukebox and a barstool. staying there till closing time is reccommemded.
posted by jonmc at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


We're all descended from someone who's famous. Its just that my grandmother did a lot of research. We have a lot of Irish too, Ulster plantation, etc. Jameson's who settled in Saco. It's the familial recognition that counts. Hey, I was in Illinois and talking to a lady there with piercing blue eyes and I said, "you're a Warren!" and she admitted she was, and not only that, she was a member of the DAR (as was my grandmother), thus, a cousin.

Anyway. I am only trying to give you a real world recommendation. People here love you for your words. I can attest to your human-ness. Maybe it's the Irish in me that wants to stand up for you.

If people here don't want to recognize your value, it's their loss. But I'd sure like to work with you and/or interact with you on a daily basis. My husband's grant job just took a hit, he raised $55,000 in 2 months, so MeMail me if you have any suggestions.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:05 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Recommended pastimes incled playing solitaire till dawn with a deck of 51, tobacco use and watching reruns of Captain Kangaroo.
posted by jonmc at 7:08 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


1. You hardly talk to me anymore when you come through the door at the end of the day.
2. You don't bring me flowers.
3. You don't sing me love songs.
4. I remember when you couldn't wait to love me. Used to hate to leave me.
5. Now, you just roll over and turn out the light. Can't even wait to tell me goodnight.
6. Used to bes don't count any more.
7. You'll hear from my lawyer in the morning.
posted by Miko at 7:20 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, I am Sir Isaac Newton's 12th cousin, twice removed, and I think Miko is a good sort of person, though we've never met. If I were ever broken up with again, it would be nice if it were done Miko-style, not like my previous wife, who was really pretty mean about the whole thing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:24 PM on August 31, 2011


Of course, if you want a more businesslike approach, Call Maria into your office to take a letter.
posted by jonmc at 7:57 PM on August 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


There are AskMe answers which are so powerfully insightful and useful across many different challenges - the famous Guess vs Ask is a clear example.

And just this morning I was thinking about what someone said in a thread about the difference between hormonal love and intimate compatibility or partnership - that the two were not automatically given (just because you had A, B wasn't a given) and that I'd never thought about it in that way before.

Can't we just put together a "Best of AskMe" (and get a gazillion dollar book advance?)
posted by infini at 8:08 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like to do my breakups same way I paint: by the numbers.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:09 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


No. I mean, I like Miko's answer but as Miko's said the answer wasn't intended to be "go-to!" for AskMe and it definitely would not be applicable in all scenarios.

One thing I always think about is how people put scripts like this into practice. Less about Miko's advice, actually, and more the ones with problematic family members and partners where the advice is some thing like "say calmly, You can't speak to me this way. What's bothering you? Let's discuss ways to come to a solution together." Because in practice, people start talking immediately, especially when emotional, which kind of renders a tidy script null. In Miko's example, a lot of people would start talking a blue streak when the other person got to "do you have questions for me?" Also, in the example I wrote, a lot of the family members/partners the OP might be having problems with probably wouldn't let them get through their calm little speech about how they'd like to be treated, and go off right after "You can't speak to me this way..."

It's still good advice, just don't know how real world practical it really is to say out loud. But giving Miko's advice pride of place in the question box or a permalink? Heck no. Other people have advice about relationships. Even Miko has some updated advice.
posted by sweetkid at 8:10 PM on August 31, 2011


You all get hugs! Y'all make me laugh and I love you for it, I really do.

(This totally makes up for the horrid nightmare I had last night - mathowie decided to close up MetaFilter.)
posted by deborah at 8:11 PM on August 31, 2011


Miko broke up with me by text.
posted by LarryC at 8:42 PM on August 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Did he happen to have a pet rhino?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:42 PM on August 31, 2011


The great thing about the coinflip technique is that if it doesn't work out, you can always blame the coin.
posted by Admira at 8:53 PM on August 31, 2011


I'm not Lisa.
My name is Julie.
Lisa left you long ago.
posted by Sailormom at 9:08 PM on August 31, 2011


The coinflip works - it lets you figure out what you already want to do.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:13 PM on August 31, 2011


Click here to DTMFA

There was a request for a button for this a few years ago.
posted by mlis at 9:21 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Must be 50 ways to leave your lover.
posted by paulsc at 9:26 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been lurking Something Awful's relationship advice forum along with AskMe, and they always give 'sever' as the advice - just cut off all contact with the person. Their crowd tends to be more on the 'creepy young guy' scale, but between Sever (for short term, few date OkCupid scenarios) and Miko's script it seems like half the breakups are covered....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:31 PM on August 31, 2011


how people put scripts like this into practice

I think it's meant to be an outline, not a script per se. I think (hope) it's assumed that the other person will say things in between and you will respond, not just plunge on like a telemarketer.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:24 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


That said, I continue to be baffled by the idea that questions about unique, deeply personal issues are a "problem" and need to be eliminated or preempted by some boilerplate that magically applies to everyone.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:26 PM on August 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


ps most of it was pretty good, but don't dump someone and then say "do you have any questions?" unless you want them to slap you.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:27 PM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The original jonmc on Miko on breaking up:

I've been looking for a comment from Miko that describes a good way to break up with someone

I believe she said that the best approach is to tell the woman that she's a fine girl, but that your life, your love and your lady is The Sea.
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on February 26, 2009
posted by mlis at 12:19 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


the ones with problematic family members and partners where the advice is some thing like "say calmly, You can't speak to me this way.

I always feel this way about Dr. Phil's scripts of the month, which he runs in the Oprah magazine.

I think it's meant to be an outline, not a script per se. I think (hope) it's assumed that the other person will say things in between and you will respond, not just plunge on like a telemarketer.

Oh totally, that's how it went down. Honestly it is a very simplistic breakdown of the actual conversation.

The original jonmc on Miko on breaking up

What can you say - Brandy is a classic.
posted by Miko at 6:11 AM on September 1, 2011


I'm envious of those who've had decent breakups.
posted by infini at 6:29 AM on September 1, 2011


You can do a site search for a comment's id

Ask vs. Guess has 5 posts and (including this comment) 106 comments.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:30 AM on September 1, 2011


i dunno, "the boy is mine" was a pretty popular song, but i wouldn't call her a classic.
posted by nadawi at 6:31 AM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think (hope) it's assumed that the other person will say things in between and you will respond, not just plunge on like a telemarketer.

Someone more creative than me please, please write a telemarketer script for this.
posted by desjardins at 6:41 AM on September 1, 2011


It has to begin by mispronouncing your name.
posted by Miko at 6:49 AM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel like all this advice can be summed up in two words:

"My bad."

That should be it. That's all you have to say, and all you should say. If pressed, just repeat. "My bad, son," followed up with "Nah, son, my bad," if pressed any further. Repeat as necessary until they get the idea.
posted by Eideteker at 7:27 AM on September 1, 2011


Why would you call your significan other "son"? That's kinda fucked up, no?
posted by Think_Long at 10:42 AM on September 1, 2011


Nah, son.
posted by Eideteker at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2011


My boyfriend calls me "bro". He also calls his buddies "bro", his brother "bro" and his mom "bro". I call him "bro". We also have specific definitions of "Bro" (capitalization makes it different), "Dude-Bro", and various other classify-this-random-guy terminology. We have a friend we refer to as "Bro-Curious" because he tries to be all corporate-yuppie-cool but is really just a big lovable nerd. Sometimes when we're cooking, he'll ask me to pass the "broesmary" for the "brotatoes". One time I even called him "brosephina of the vast oceans," which required some explanation. Bro--> broseph--> brosephine--> brosephina--> [the Smashing Pumpkins song Porcelina of the Vast Oceans]--> brosephina of the vast oceans.

Neither of us is particularly fucked up. As long as both parties are cool with it, you can call your SO whatever the heck you like.
posted by phunniemee at 10:51 AM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why would you call your significan other "son"? That's kinda fucked up, no?

I've been known to call mine "son" though usually when doing Foghorn Leghorn imitations when he does not get my jokes. The rest of the time I call everyone "man" because I'd rather know what I'm going to be ridiculed for than be surprised.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


LOSER ANSWERS PHONE

LEAVER (mumbled, to LOSER, after long pause): Hello? Hello? Is (garbled) Lu-cy home?
LOSER: Who?
LEAVER: MSRMSS Lu-cy?
LOSER: I'm sorry, you must have the wrong number. There's no Lucy, here.
LEAVER: LOSER?
LOSER: Excuse me? LEAVER, is that you?
LEAVER: Hello, MSRMSS LOSER. Our records show that you have many fine qualities. Qualities that almost anyone would be greatful to encounter. But some members of your household may be eligible for an upgrade.
LOSER: WTF?
LEAVER: According to our records, LEAVER and LOSER LTD is scheduled to disolve their partnership within 24 hours, but if you act now, you can still rescue your pre-partnership CD collection and delete your recent browsing history from your shared Laptop before LEAVER changes the locks and terminates your joint accounts. Do you have any questions?
LOSER: I'm telling all your friends how you can only get off to 70's sitcom reruns.

LOSER HANGS UP

LEAVER: Movin' on up...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:09 AM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am reminded of The Real World London...
The last one worth watching, IMO. Thanks for that reminisce, Ad hominem!
posted by coolguymichael at 1:03 PM on September 1, 2011


...and yes, I feel perfectly comfortable using "reminisce" as a noun. Shut up.
posted by coolguymichael at 1:05 PM on September 1, 2011


I've called all of my girlfriends dude. They only occasionally object. But then again I also say goodbye on the phone by saying "Aight, smell ya later"

The last one worth watching, IMO. Thanks for that reminisce, Ad hominem!

That season was remakably conflict free in comparison. Seemed like they mostly slept.That was the last season before they made them all get jobs.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:22 PM on September 1, 2011


I don't like being called a "dude" by my bf. It makes me feel like I'm the friendzone.
posted by Miko at 1:29 PM on September 1, 2011


Yeah like I said, sometimes people object

"ok see you at 7"
"love you"
"Aight dude, smell ya later"
"...sigh"

maybe I'll switch it up to bro, that is more current anyway.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:42 PM on September 1, 2011


"aight dude, Ima hit the store for an Arizona tallboy and some big beef chevys, you want"
"...sigh"

"Dude, we should hit up the new exhibit at the met, shit is off the hook, ya smell me?"
"...sigh"

Sorry, I am just waiting for 5 so I can sign off instant messenger.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:47 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was the last season before they made them all get jobs.

It was also the last season where they put a TV in the house. I can't remember if it was Mike or Jay, but one of them did very little else other than watch the TV while they were there.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:49 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was also the last season where they put a TV in the house. I can't remember if it was Mike or Jay, but one of them did very little else other than watch the TV while they were there.

Also, in every previous season they were older than me. In that season they were the same age as me, every season since they have been younger. My interest really dropped off when I was watching kids 5 years younger than me argue over petty bullshit while living in a sweet luxury pad.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:55 PM on September 1, 2011


Here's an interesting paper on the origins and usage of "dude".
posted by Lexica at 2:37 PM on September 1, 2011


Was it the Miami season they were going to give everyone something like $100 thousand each and all they had to do was start a business? They would get an idea, start in on it, and then one of them would just be like "Naaahh. I don't like the cupcake business." After about five different viable business' they couldn't manage to put one together.

It was also the last season where they put a TV in the house.

I never noticed that. That's probably why some season's "cast members" never really made that much of an appearance on the show. Who wants to sit around watching a show about other people sitting around watching a show?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:39 PM on September 1, 2011


Yep that was Miami. My takeaway from that was Dan, the male model, was dating a older man who was still in the closet. The guy appeared on the show several times before Dan broke up with him because he couldn't date a guy in the closet. That was kinda fucked up, the guy was just about to be out in an incredibly public way, Dan only had to wait a few months.

Also Flora, who almost died of alcohol poisoning every episode.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:00 PM on September 1, 2011


For a second there i thought you were talking about Ruthie from Hawaii.

OMGIknowwaaaaytoomuchaboutTheRealWorld!
posted by P.o.B. at 4:04 PM on September 1, 2011


Ah, no I was wrong. 50 grand total for all of them, still nothing to sneeze at.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:09 PM on September 1, 2011


Shit, maybe that was Ruthie! Her an Tek dated the same woman too right? Craaaazzzy!
Flor was the one who got bit by the spider?

I have an anecdote about Puck, a friend of mine worked at a radio station in San Francisco. Puck would call in and start the conversation "Hey, it's me, Puck" they would fuck with him saying "huh? Puck? Never heard of you" "you know, from the real world" "what do you mean the real world, we are all from the real world" apparently he called trying to get on the air just about every day.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:10 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flor was the one who got bit by the spider?

Wasn't that what's her name (Coral) from the second New York series?

My only anecdote about those shows is I almost dated one of the girls from Road Rules. She flaked but it turned out I dodged a bullet on that one. I found out later she enjoyed the Colombian Marching Powder a bit too much and was even booted from one of the challenge shows for being "a bit too excited".
posted by P.o.B. at 4:23 PM on September 1, 2011


I'm almost 100% it was Miami.

There seems to be nothing about it on the web either, I find that incredible.

I just might have to Ask Metafilter.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:34 PM on September 1, 2011


I never do the coinflip thing, but the way that dynamic would work for me is that whatever outcome I was really, really hoping for during the coinflip would be the very thing I should really, really NOT do.

I don't need coinflips since I am capable of rationalizing nearly anything; in fact, I'll provide you with an ironclad rationalization of any foolish choice you're contemplating for the shiny nickel you were about to flip.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:51 PM on September 1, 2011


What can you say - Brandy is a classic.

Loved by every female bartender I know. And I know a lot.
posted by jonmc at 4:55 PM on September 1, 2011


Yeah, I've loved that song a long time. I think I used to love it because I sort of identified with it, in maybe a bartender way. Thank goodness those days are past. Now I love it because it's kind of melodramatic, and hey, good songwriting.
posted by Miko at 6:53 PM on September 1, 2011


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