Dear Di

Dear Di is the Fulcrum foremost expert in sexual relations
Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum
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Di advises a micro influencer in a relationship down on its dying embers

Dear Di,

My partner and I have hit a rough patch. Well quite frankly, it probably qualifies as a rough year. We’ve both been unhappy for a while and the romantic relationship is beyond repair. But as an instagram influencer, the holiday season is an essential time for my business. Brands will pay me up to four times as much for a post with a couple because of increased interaction on posts. On top of this, holiday posts are already higher rates. Is it unfair for me to prolong a relationship on its dying legs simply to get good holiday photos?

Miserable Micro Influencer

Dear MMI,

Relationships are difficult to maintain and I will most certainly not claim to understand the complexities of yours from seven sentences. I will take your word at face value and assume the two of you are on the same page; the relationship is doomed and both of you are aware of this. 

I would advocate for honesty. I’m sure plenty of your followers are dreading having to spend their own holidays alone. These are hard times to be single. In a non-pandemic year, this would be the time that we bring partners home to meet parents. Half the songs on the radio are about mistletoe and social media feeds are inundated with couples calling one another “my ho ho ho <3.” 

As for the business angle, you may find an entirely new audience that admires your honesty. I am sure speaking to your experience of being newly single for the holidays will resonate with many. Ever heard of the turkey dump? First-year university relationships fail by the thousands between the thanksgiving and winter breaks. You can corner this market!

It sounds to me that you and your partner are both unhappy in the relationship and are sure of the next steps, but neither of you want to be the one to take it. The first months out of a long term relationship can be rough, no matter how sure you are that it is the right move. 

Be the bigger person. Take the plunge and end things with compassion. Instead prolonging a bad situation simply for cute photos to use this holiday season, go for relaxation and a slight business remodel.