How to Break up with Someone While Listening to the Supremes

Dave Hill has even more excellent love advice — and tunes — for the lovelorn.

Hot Love is a column by comedian, writer and musician Dave Hill wherein he helps the lovelorn with advice on love, relationships and porking. Please send your questions to [email protected].

Dear Dave,

At what point do I actually have to BREAK UP with someone? Like, when is it acceptable to ghost and when is it necessary to actually CALL SOMEONE on the PHONE and say awkward things?

Thanking you in advance,
Feeling Spooky

Dear Spooky,

Let me be clear about something right out of the gate: I pretty much invented ghosting, only back then it wasn’t called ghosting so much as it was called “turning off all the lights in your house and hiding in the basement until the former love interest in question either gets the hell off your front lawn or is removed by force by the cops while everyone in your town pulls up lawn chairs to watch the whole mess go down in person.” As we all know, it’s since caught on like wildfire. That said, it’s only appropriate in certain cases — like, for example, if you think the love interest in question will one day make a lamp out of you or if you are just kind of bored, maybe.

I hate to drag the Bible into this, but there is that thing about “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Say what you want about the Good Book, but that one has always seemed like a solid bit of advice to me whether you’re religious, atheist, agnostic or just someone like me who pretty much waits for direction from Satan himself before he even puts on pants in the morning.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that before you decide to either “ghost” or pick up the dreaded phone like someone with compassion might, ask yourself how you would want to be treated if the situation were reversed and go from there. Of course, I am counting on the fact that you are a reasonable person and not a psycho at all really and are capable of making the right decision here. However, if you are, in fact, a psycho, maybe just figure that if you’d had more than a couple of dates, picking up the phone is probably the way to go. And if that doesn’t work, you could just go hang out on their front lawn for a bit and the situation should sort itself out pretty quickly, I bet.

My song for you is “You Keep Me Hanging on” by the Supremes. You could also just play this song for someone and he or she would probably get the hint.

I nailed it again,
Dave Hill

Dear Dave,

Whenever we fight, my boyfriend just walks away. Like, literally leaves. Like, we were having a fight — or a fight-ish thing — in a bar once and he just booked it. Got on a bus. Left. Mind you, these were not even serious fights, just disagreements. This seems like a bad sign, no?

Alone Again

Dear Alone,

Let me start by saying that I commend your boyfriend for making use of public transportation. It’s better for the environment, cuts down on traffic, and — in this case — keeps one less potentially drunk driver off the road.

That said, the thing about leaving every time you have a disagreement makes him seem a bit crazy. Then again, if you’re looking for a crazy person, a bus is a great place to start, so you tell me. I guess what I’m trying to say is, maybe you should ask him why he leaves every time you have a disagreement. And if he leaves after that question, just do that thing where you shake your finger in the air while saying, “Oh no, you didn’t!” and then maybe pick up a good book or something until the right man for you comes along. I just know he’s out there.

My song for you is “Run Run Run” by Velvet Underground.

Glad I could help,
Dave Hill

Dear Dave,

My girlfriend is always late. Like, more than thirty minutes every time. It really pisses me off. I’ve told her as much and she says she’ll work on it, but she persists in being perpetually tardy. Help?

Yours truly,

Dear Frustrated,

My first thought was to tell you to say to her, “Hey, fuckface, cut the shit, OK?” But the more I sit here thinking about it, that’s just not how a gentleman should handle things. What you could do — and hear me out on this — is intentionally set your meeting time about thirty minutes ahead of when you would actually like to meet. Bam! Problem solved. And, ironically enough, as I’ve solved your problem so quickly, I now find myself with a bit of extra time to just sit here watching that ball sail over the outfield fence.

My song for you is “Get the Time” by the Descendents. It’s ironically one of their longer songs, something I’m getting a real big kick out of right now. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it so much.

Just doing my part as always,
Dave Hill

Dave Hill is a comedian, writer, musician, and highly boneable public figure. He is the author of the book Tasteful Nudes (St. Martin’s Press, 2012), host of The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on New Jersey’s WFMU-91.1, frequent contributor to This American Life and singer-guitar player for the power-pop band Valley Lodge. His new comedy album Let Me Turn You On is available now, as is his second collection of essays, Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Penguin/Blue Rider Press). Dave also smells incredible and can play sweet guitar solos without even really trying. You can follow him on Twitter here.