Savage Love Letter of the Day: The DTMFA Files


TEAR, on a nearly daily basis, you and your boyfriend are fighting about things that aren't significant, which results in your breaking down in tears, and these interactions escalate rapidly from conversations to arguments. Either your boyfriend doesn't know how to discuss minor problems like a mature adult or you don't. My guess is the problem is your boyfriend, but you're not sure the problem isn't you, so hear is what you do. Record your conversations with the boyfriend for a few days. Listen to one of your arguments afterwards when you're alone, emotionally centered, and able to process what you hear. If the problem is your boyfriend, you may need to DTMFA, or push him to get counseling so that he can resolve issues with you with less conflict. If the problem is you, well he doesn't have a problem with you, so carry on.
The first one seems like a very good candidate for couples counseling. If he really is a decent person (I have my doubts, but it's possible) and LR really wants to make it work, learning how to de-escalate and avoid really should be doable for most normal people. There are probably bad habits at work here, and it seems worth a try to figure out what they are so you can learn to avoid them.

Making the request to try therapy might also yield important information. If you are clear about how important this is to your well-being and he refuses or otherwise tries to get out of it, the case for DTMFA instantly becomes extremely strong, and the chances he really is a decent person drop dramatically.
TEAR, if you're fighting every day and crying and not even sure how the fights start, meanwhile ten minutes later he's like nothing even happened in the first place... get out. once you get over that breakup, you're going to find you're much happier not getting mindfucked every day. take it from someone who's been there...
The ability to 'get over' an argument is related to a biological difference in mens and womens nervous systems:…

So, I would say, don't stress about how quickly he gets over the arguments. It's better one of you can calm down than neither of you can calm down. And I disagree w/ Dan, constant arguing isn't always a red flag or an unfixable issue... but you need to figure out what the real issue is.

LOST. Sounds gender-flipped. Kinda agree, if one person's shooting for long-term and the other's a rolling stone, there isn't much to do.

@ITALY... Not everyone's sexually liberated. Take your time. Try not to give the GF any more reasons to feel awkward.
The TEAR letter sounds to me like a situation where one of them (or maybe both) wants to be right more than they want to be kind. Not that uncommon, but also not a great way to be, if you're in a relationship.
I don't know about biological differences in nervous systems, but there's DEFINITELY room for improvement on communication and negotiation that has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with practice.

TEAR, if you're reading this, go buy yourself the book "Couple Skills" and read it cover to cover. Then start at Chapter 1 and do the work religiously. Buy your boyfriend a copy too and tell him, this is important and I'm doing this, I'd like you to do it with me.

If you have the ability to afford counselling both together AND separately (I suspect there's stuff to unpack for both of them), do that too.

By the way, if your boyfriend resists, that's a red flag for you to pay attention to. I bought this book years ago in a relationship that was emotionally manipulative/on the verge of abusive and it helped me get a lot better with dealing with interpersonal communication. The fact that then-boyfriend talked a good story about going along but didn't lift a finger to actually DO anything was one of the factors that led me to dumping him (unfortunately only after he'd done a mind-screw on me that took years to unfuck). Along the way, I got better at negotiating and dealing with family and coworkers, so it was overall a huge benefit.

But you have to do the work. The book isn't fluffy-bunny nonsense. It's a set of skills that you have to practice every day, in big and small ways AND SO DOES HE. If you both commit to it, it will help you. If only you commit to it, and he keeps on keeping on, then you have another kind of problem on your hands.

Good luck.
I can't help thinking DTMFA a terrible slogan. Dan sort-of acknowledges in saying that in the last scenario, there are no motherfuckers, just two people who may be sexually incompatible. If the phrase means 'you are entitled to happy, wildly pleasurable sex', 'you deserve not to be shamed for your kinks', I agree with it. If it means someone can do better than a partner who habitually demeans them, likewise. But then it should be something like 'ask for better'. 'DTMFA' 's implication is that any partner who doesn't readily gratify you in bed is treating you slightingly; and things are usually a deal more complicated than that.

In the first case, the answer would seem not to fight. But that's perhaps too hard. The LW should try to figure out why she and her boyfriend argue. Can she nip the quarrels in the bud? And why is he a motherfucker for fighting? We don't know enough to know whether he is or not.

The second case sounds hopeless. Sadly, the relationship's over.
TEAR's boyfriend sounds like he he has borderline personality disorder. This sounds like a clear example of splitting.
For TEAR-- At the very least, you're involved with a man who cheerily doesn't mind if you're so upset that you cry daily. You really want that?
TEAR's letter raises some questions. If her partner is happy and cheery 10 minutes after an argument, I wonder if he even views them as arguments. I think in a calm moment, she might want to feel him out about his perception of these exchanges. Either he gets something out of winding her up to the point of tears on the daily (in which case, DTMFA), or he may think they're just, I dunno, debates or whatever. Some people love that. I have a teenager in the house who's exercising his verbal claws by debating EVERYTHING. It gets tiresome but mostly we enjoy going a few rounds - always respectful, I am still his mother - with each other. Our conversations have become very thought provoking.

Also, has it been this way always or is this a new or increasing phenomenon? If the latter, maybe he wants out but is too cowardly to pull the trigger. This was my ex. He wanted out and made me so miserable that I left him.

So, my questions for TEAR based on my tinted perspective on case it helps inform her thinking.
@9 This, exactly. Some "lovely guys" aren't actually lovely. They're charming, and manipulative. The closer you get to them, the more difficult and crazy-making they are. Often, that lovely veneer is a lovely way to stay in control, but over time the mask comes off. My gut says get out of this while you can. But be careful - if he is truly controlling, LW may get a nasty surprise. Don't leave your important things or your share of the $$ where it's vulnerable to vindictiveness.
TEARS, if you find yourself fighting with lots of people, the problem is you - get help. If you only fight with BF, the problem is him - leave him and don't look back. Nobody should live the hellish life you described.
@7 Agreed. I think Dan is usually quite balanced but the occasional DTMFA is handed out unnecessary.
This comments section however can go into the realms of parody, see @8...
@7 are you familiar with the term "Get it how you live"?
@9 eh. I had the girlfriend who would interpret everything I did as a personal rejection of her. Anything I did that wasn't focused on her was, literally (and I literally mean literally - even decisions I made before we met were included in this matrix), deemed an aggressive act and a rejection of spending time with her, which she needed to frequently isolate herself and cry over. She would cry all the time over little stuff. When she didn't get her laundry from the laundromat before they closed and I went to get the keys from the owner (who was neighbors of a friend of mine), that was somehow me failing, because obviously me doing that was intended to make her look helpless and pathetic. She would either find or create things to be aggreived over. So we'd have fights out of nowhere all the time. I felt earnestly annoyed at the time, but looking back, I just had my guard up 24x7 because I never knew how I might express hateful feelings toward her next.
I'm going to lay a bet that if I look up the research @4, it will have an effect size less than, oh... 0.5. Meaning that the difference between the sexes is less than half of the variation within each sex. Meaning that an average woman is at the 70/30 dividing point for men, or something even closer to 50/50. Meaning the effect is visible over a population but silly to bring in to an individual conversation.

Anyone want to the the other side of the bet?
Two things about TEAR pop out at me here: 1) she stays upset about arguments for hours/days even though they happen nearly daily, and 2) she can't pinpoint when things go from inane discussions about insignificant topics to arguments with major emotional weight.

In my context shitty upbringing/shitty role models in conflict/poor self esteem/unaddressed mental health needs means that when there was any situation with SO that involved even the slightest whiff of disapproval, it was very easy for my catastrophizing brain to go from zero (what's for dinner) to 60 (you hate me and I ruin everything) in a very short period of time. While it's possible that he's a manipulative asshole, the fact that this happens DAILY, about insignificant things, and she can't let go of things AND she can't identify when it went from an okay discussion to not an okay discussion points to her potentially being a big part of the problem.

I agree with the suggestions that both need to learn some communication skills. I personally always recommend Non-Violent Communication by Rosenberg. It taught me a lot about how to communicate my needs without falling back on to patterns I learned from abusive people. At the very least it'll teach some skills for recognizing when a conversation goes from good to ugly and how to eject from an ugly conversation to calm down and maintain some rational thinking.

I also think it'd be a good idea for her to go to a therapist on her own. Therapists are good neutral third parties and they are often helpful when trying to figure out if you're crazy (as in my case) or dating someone who is crazy-making. In the latter case, they can be really helpful for learning skills that are not well-socialized into (especially abused) women, such as setting and enforcing strong boundaries.
Well, @2 pretty much just quoted what I had intended to say. So shame on you for plagiarizing my thoughts, mind reader! ;-P

There’s sometimes a reluctance to acknowledge the good that can come of therapy, but this is precisely the sort of circumstance best suited to it. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that there’s more going on there, but it’s very possible that they simply have dysfunctional (or at least incompatible) communication styles, and therapy can totally fix that.
TEAR, this man has either sadistic tendencies or he's a tool, has he not noticed how upset you are after these arguments. You say the words used upsets you for a long time after, so I'm guessing he's using the opportunity to spit shit at you. Then he's fine ten minutes later and ignores how upset you are by his behaviour. Go with these feelings you have and dtmfa.
SA @1: Funnily, I was guessing that the problem is probably TEAR. If simple conversations turn into arguments that upset her for days afterwards, I think this may be a sign of underlying mental health issues. Has she had this problem with other partners/friends/people on the internet? If it's just him, then perhaps he's cruel and a gaslighter, or they are just incompatible as far as their debating styles. But hanging onto this kind of hurt, however it originates, isn't good for her and I'd see a therapist if I were in her shoes.

LOST: If you're acting like a different person to keep this relationship together, wouldn't it be better to leave and find someone else with whom you don't have to keep up this constant charade, and can be yourself? Dan is right, this relationship is already over.

Sporty @4: "LOST. Sounds gender-flipped." Not everything conforms to gender stereotypes, film at 11.

Harriet @7: DTMFA is a wonderful slogan, which is not always applicable in every situation. For LW3, agree, a better acronym would be DTPNPA (Dump The Perfectly Nice Person Already). Which, strangely, was not Dan's advice, though it would have been mine. They've been together for two and a half years. If Ms ITALY is still rejecting his kinks wholesale, if he hasn't been able to even get her to wear some sexy boots, I don't think he should waste his youth waiting. DTPNPA.

Mirea @10: Good point. I dated someone who loved "debating" so much he was a member of three different debating societies. He found it fun. He was also on the spectrum and couldn't see how his digging in and refusing to hear my side was extremely upsetting to me, that "debating" with him was anything but fun. Something for TEAR to consider.
@14. Sportlandia. I'm not familiar with 'get it how you live'. I was educated in SoCal private schools, English public schools (really, private schools) and French public schools (genuinely public schools) and never know where my argot is coming from. I'm a lawyer so I thank my stars the language is impersonal and de-nationalized. I'm 100% prepared to think, though, that 'get it how you live' is a better slogan than 'DTMFA'.

@9. Fichu. And does she care that he bears it Stoically every day? The point to me has to do more with what the rows are about. Is he habitually derogating her? She doesn't say this. Does she think this? Has he manipulated her into not thinking this? If that's the case, she should definitely DTMFA.

@13. JodoKast. The comments are always self-parodic to me. A letter-writer says:

I am having the best sex of my life, but ...

and the chorus of commentators reliably goes up:


I'm sure it's an outlet for many people's frustrations and anger--the thinking person's shoot-'em-up video games. And some people seem to have understood the catchphrase but not the thinking behind it.

@20. BiDanFan. Why should ITALY not get his vanilla with his gf and his black cherry elsewhere? Dan's advice was that, if she still can't bring herself to put on a pair of sexy boots, eventually that's what he would have to do, or else leave her if she couldn't accept an open arrangement. I thought it good advice. It's quite possible she's held back by an internalized sense of sexual propriety which she'll outgrow. Or (I must be careful not to perpetuate stereotypes about Italians here) that she believes, at some level, that he will judge her as a prospective life-partner for entertaining kinky desires. But if he genuinely doesn't, and he can reassure her that he doesn't, she still might come round to something more adventurous.

What does DTMFA mean to you? I suggested two things it might mean, but which (to me) it doesn't say explicitly. What makes somebody a motherfucker? What does someone have to be like to deserve getting summarily dumped?
Harriet @22: "Why should ITALY not get his vanilla with his gf and his black cherry elsewhere?"

Perhaps you've never dated an Italian. Not to country-stereotype, but that's a very traditional culture. My suspicion is that Ms ITALY would be no more open to the idea of ITALY engaging in kink play with others outside the relationship than she is to wearing boots. Dan has been criticised for hopping right to "Just open the relationship" when the vast majority of people in the world are still not OK with being in open relationships, and to his credit, he did not advise that here.

DTMFA, to me, means exactly what the letters stand for: dump the motherfucker already. To avoid too much unnecessary detail, a motherfucker who deserves immediate-if-not-sooner dumping could be: an abuser, a liar, a cheater, a gaslighter (see abuser), someone who refuses to listen or to compromise (see abuser), someone who withholds sex and does not give permission to seek sex elsewhere (see abuser)... I think you get the idea. SL is full of letters from people in relationships with motherfuckers who are blinded by oxytocin (see "I'm having the best sex of my life but...") and can't see the obvious, that they're being abused, that their partners refuse to change, that the only way out is out. These people have tried everything else, and nothing has worked. They seem to think that Dan has a magic wand he can wave to make the partner in question change, and DTMFA means simply that no, there is no fix. The only choices are to remain miserable with this person or leave this person.

Stating the obvious, as you yourself used DTMFA in a way that indicates you know full what what it means in your post @21, replying to Fichu.
15-Sportlandia-- Oddly enough, I did consider the possibility that TEAR was just sentimental or emotional or the one creating drama. I know that I could get hormonally tearful sometimes and cry over the least little thing (television ads with puppies could just drown me), and I can understand how a man could conclude "that's just the way she is." The sort of awful relationship you describe where everything was your fault sounds terrible. But the advice to TEAR is the same: Get out.

I'll ask you. How did that relationship resolve for you? Obviously you broke up. After how long? Who initiated the break-up?

(A recurring theme with me since reading this column is that it shouldn't matter whose "fault" it is as long as the horrible relationship is over.)
Harriet, you insinuating people don't think about a situation before they suggest dumping the person or not. Who cares what the arguments are about? Arguments on a daily basis, without the pressure of kids or financial or health issues are a waste of time.
This LW is already saying she's thinking of getting out, that she feels neutral sometimes about leaving the relationship. Whatever the communication between them, it has allowed for this little dance to go on, and it leaves her hurt for days. He's good as gold ten minutes later.
An incompatible pair, unless they go do some work on themselves and as a couple. I don't see this LW has the will to bother, it has become such a chronic routine.
@20/BiFanDan: How TEAR processes these arguments might be viewed separately from what causes them in the first instance. And it is worth noting that TEAR ending up in tears so easily and carrying around those feelings could be a sign of emotional fragility. That's something for TEAR to contemplate, particularly if she can unpack slowly the actual words, tone, and pace of one of these arguments. I think what made me consider Mr. TEAR the source of the problem is his apparent inability to wonder, let alone address, why his girlfriend is crying so frequently. I think most hetro men are really uncomfortable when partner cries, and will try to avoid making that happen. That said, I'm not entirely troubled that Mr. TEAR gets over these fights so quickly, or appears to do so, as TEAR might not really grasp Mr. TEAR's inner emotional state quite so clearly as she thinks.

One question for TEAR is how does Mr. TEAR and his family interact? Are they passionate, emotive, and quick to angry words? If so, how are they after these blowouts? It's quite possible that this is how Mr. TEAR grew up interacting with family members, so he don't see anything amiss in these fights, whereas if TEAR grew up in a family that express little, if any, emotion, she maybe overwhelmed by these interactions.
@23. BiDanFan. Well, I've dated my fair share of Italian American men. (I'm seen as Italian American myself--southern Italian American, Sicilian and Calabrian. I'm not Italian American). What I was referring to was the tendency by which a straight man might be tickled by kink in a mistress, but not in the mother of his children. I don't know whether it's fair to ascribe this prejudice to Italians, as an aggregate population (that is, in very loose and broad terms), more than, say, to Anglo- Evangelical Midwesterners. We seem both to be in Europe--me in continental Europe, no flies on me--but we'll have, no more, I think, Euro-stereotypes. In the American night, the crazed Euro Savage-commentators ride.

What I meant to Fichu was that if the LW's boyfriend is abusive, is psychologically manipulative, is responsible for 90%+ of the troubles in the relationship, she should DTMFA. But I don't think most relationship dissatisfactions can be characterized this way. What about the love-lives of lots of people who write in to Dan? Well, maybe. Yes. They're dating selfish people. There isn't a magic wand. But I'm not sure it's the norm for all relationships. There's not a single bad guy in most unhappy setups. Some difficulties are 50-50. 60-45, 43-57. Some involve people with different values, tastes and priorities--so that, with a change of perspective, they could be seen as 100-and-then-100-again. The habit of mind I'd be concerned about, in general terms, with regard to people in unhappy relationships isn't that oxytocin has blinded them to how shitty their partner is, but that they're bad themselves at negotiating and conceding differences.

What the expression 'DTMFA' encourages people to believe, as I receive it, is that when they're not getting almost everything they want from a relationship, especially in terms of sexual gratification, they should suppose their partner is neglecting, even demeaning, them, and drop him (her, them) forthwith. The phrase plays to petty self-righteousness. One need only see how it's used. A commentator promptly supposes that a situation they're reading about is similar to one they were in, identifies with the person (typically in gender terms) who was in their shoes, and proclaims 'get out'--DTMFA. This is almost always abrupt, not nuanced. I would think that hateboner @17 has a good analysis of the first case. But still there are people who reflexively think TEAR's bf is habitually running her down and that she should dtmfa.
@25. LavaGirl. TEAR says that she and her bf spend time thinking about the future together and that they spend most of their free time doing 'fun ... stuff'. Then she suggests their marriage might turn out to be hellish. That is, she swings immoderately from saying their relationship is a keeper--that it must be good--to implying it's terrible. One possible reaction is that only one of these things can be true--and that, deep down, TEAR will know which one it is (for her). If her bf really is vindictively provoking her to long tears on a daily basis, she will, or should, know that their relationship has no future. But if she is preternaturally sensitive--if he's said no more than 'great to see that black sweater again' and she's taken it the wrong way--then maybe she has problems to address with her own emotional incontinence.

Yes, daily arguments aren't fun. But what if TEAR has a past or is a personality type that means she will have arguments and be in floods of tears every day with whoever? Then, supposing she takes your advice, she will have dumped someone with whom she was planning a future and has good times.

I've said something about how I see the mechanism of people thoughtlessly saying 'DTMFA' working in post 21 above.
The conversation is going in the direction I've been thinking. There are many reasons a woman might cry during or after an argument, not all of them the fault of the man she's arguing with. She might be manipulative, unreasonable, sentimental, etc. There are many reactions on the part of the man. He might become defensive, exasperated, impatient, possibly angry, hopefully sympathetic. Assuming TEAR is a reliable reporter, this guy is cheerful. I picture glee at the idea that his girlfriend is so upset. There's something deeply fucked up about that. I'll grant that the situation might not be entirely his fault. Could be that she's the main problem. Maybe it can be worked out in therapy. I doubt it, but if it can, the starting place for better communication is one where he doesn't seem so happy after arguments that have her in tears.
@16 I'm not literate enough, but here's a place to start:…
@21 Loosely translated, it means don't apologize/change for liking what you like (or, by extension, not liking what you don't like)
Harriet @27: Any Italian will tell you that an Italian American is not an Italian.
My comment did assume that ITALY's girlfriend is also Italian, which may or may not be the case, and addressed her willingness to share her partner with kinky others.

"I don't think most relationship dissatisfactions can be characterized this way."
No, and most relationship dissatisfactions are solved by the parties in the relationship. It is common that only after one party (generally only one; if the other is trying, they are not a motherfucker) has already exhausted all attempts at working things out that they write to Dan.

I think we're at cross purposes here. What I think you're saying is "DTMFA should not be used as shorthand for ending a relationship which includes zero motherfuckers and two incompatible people," and I agree entirely. I don't think that's the same thing as saying "DTMFA is an acronym that belongs in the bin," because it is appropriate in many contexts, including a fairly common situation that spurs LWs to write Dan in desperation.

I agree that "The DTMFA Files" is not the best title for today's column, given that none of the people in any of the letters is (necessarily) a motherfucker, and that the advice given was not universally that they should be dumped. Perhaps a copy editor came up with the title. Where I see choruses of DTMFA in the comments is those situations where there is a clear-cut MF, at least presuming the LW has accurately reported the situation. The comments this week that feature this acronym all say "if LW1's partner is really starting arguments with her on purpose, he's a MF, and he needs dumping." I agree.
TEAR's BF may be a perfectly good person who's just been raised in an environment where people yell at each other, then forget about it ten minutes later, and TEAR may be a perfectly good person for whom emotions just last longer. I feel like just about everyone could benefit from a bit therapy, since brains are complicated, and you don't get an owner's manual, and they almost certainly aren't good for each other. I feel like neither one of these people are horrible, but there's lots of good people out there that you shouldn't be in a relationship with.

It's good to learn how to tolerate your own emotions, and there's some styles of therapy that help with that, (and a LOT that don't, which makes the process of finding the right style difficult) but ultimately, if the difference in how they process their emotions is that great, it'll never be a particularly comfortable relationship for her.

Also, saying that it's a male/female thing is total bullshit. I know as many women that can be happy ten minutes after having what sounds like a screaming argument as men, and as many men who need a lot of de-stressing time after an argument as women.
@32. BiDanFan. There's a slight disagreement between us over whether 'DTMFA' is generically good advice, but I don't want to play it for more than it's worth--lest I come over like TEAR's bf might be--someone pointlessly prolonging disagreement just for the sake of debate or to push buttons.

I'm not sure how UNlike all of our ordinary psychological problems the problems of the people who write into SL are. I would think they're fairly 'like'. Exaggerated, maybe. More apparently intractable--but not necessarily because one of the people in the relationships is a motherfucker. Personally the reason, I guess, that I suppose some of the problems might be soluble with reason and good grace--that I can sometimes offer advice that the LW can't see or formulate so readily--is only that I'm not personally involved in them. In my own life in the recent past (and even now) I can struggle with issues I flippantly diagnose when they're other people's.

Also, when you say, 'where I see choruses of DTMFA in the comments is those situations where there is a clear-cut MF', I would disagree, I think people say it when the scenario reminds them of a time when they themselves were treated badly.

'hateboner' is one of the greatest handles I've ever seen. Inspired.
@17, @18, @35

Ha! Oops. Meant @17...
Harriet @34: Another argument for a "DTMFA" approach to failing relationships occurred to me:
Have you ever been in a long or longish-term relationship which was good in the beginning, but then began to go bad? You're fighting all the time (a la TEAR), or you have problems that you've tried but can't seem to solve. The relationship now offers more anguish than it does happiness. Yet, the sunk costs fallacy is in play, and you do love them, and they love you. It's hard to rip off that band-aid even though intellectually you know it's for the best. One way to get over that stumbling block and cut the cord is to stop thinking wistfully back at the good times that will never happen again, to uncomplicate things in your head by making them the bad guy. If they're the bad guy, it will be easier to end the relationship. Don't stay with this awful person! DTMFA! Because if you don't start to think of them as an MF who needs dumping, you'll just stay and stay and stay, stuck in an ever-more-miserable situation until one of you does something drastic and irrevocable, like cheating or violence.

Once you do break up and put some emotional distance between you, then you can dial back from the "MF" approach, look back on both the good and the bad times, and start to be on friendly terms. But sometimes, making that person the villain is a necessary step towards walking away from "the best sex of one's life" and ending a relationship that's otherwise making you miserable.

So maybe when people say "DTMFA!", you can try hearing it as "Walk the fuck away!" ?
Harriet @34: "Also, when you say, 'where I see choruses of DTMFA in the comments is those situations where there is a clear-cut MF', I would disagree, I think people say it when the scenario reminds them of a time when they themselves were treated badly."

Not mutually exclusive. You've missed the word "choruses." If one commenter is saying DTMFA, it's because they're thinking of an MF they should have -- or did -- dump. If multiple commenters are saying DTMFA, that person is most likely objectively an MF.
My impression is that around these parts "DTMFA" has evolved into a shorthand for "break up already", without there necessarily being any actual "motherfuckers" involved.
@37. BiDanFan. 'Walk the fuck away' is good. It’s sometimes necessary to think that.

In the case you've described, your partner (from whom you have, for both your sakes, to break) isn't a motherfucker; and I don't see the overwhelming reason to describe him (her, them) as such. Why traduce them in your mind like that? Why not just think 'it's over', 'it was no one's fault; it can't go on'? Do you think people need some mechanism by which they think they're justified, and that the fault belongs to the other person, before they can do the right thing?

By 'chorus' I was suggesting that when one person suggests dumping the motherfucker, others join in, without necessarily having the same analysis or doing any more than simply superimposing their own experience over a case.