Unrequited Blog Love

A while ago, I waded into murky waters and asked if a commenting etiquette should exist.

The answer after four posts and lots of discussion was a decided no. For many, many good reasons.

Mel asks her readers today who comments where and why (in your commenting section or not?) and there is a lively set of answers basically confirming that everyone treats commenting differently.

I admit that doing NaBloPoMo has taken away from my commenting, and I apologize for that. My general rule of thumb has become: if you have commented on my blog, I will go over and read you and comment too. I hope I have done that with everyone, but please let me know in the comments section if I have missed you. I’m trying to add to my reader right now, too. Please tell me if you’d like to be added if you are a lurker 🙂

ANYWAY, here’s where I admit that my original series of posts was based on one particular writer whose blog I commented on and read regularly. She never reciprocated. And, because I have skin that is particularly thin, it hurt my feelings. That’s embarrassing to admit.

I still read her, because she’s very talented at capturing everyday life in a way that’s unique. But I no longer comment. She doesn’t get very many comments, and I thought, well maybe she doesn’t comment on anyone’s blog, really. But I’ll probably read her for as long as she blogs. I’m her Florentino Ariza.

I recently discovered that this same blogger now comments sometimes on a blog I read often. I cannot tell you how jealous this made me!

Why oh why do I care? What do the Buddhists say, let go of your ego? I need to do that. So what if someone doesn’t like my blog? (Or more likely, doesn’t even know I exist?)

Is anyone else bothered by this sort of thing? Or is it just me? What’s the best way to let go of this kind of thinking? I’m thinking Justine and Lori might have some good pointers…

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “Unrequited Blog Love

  1. I’m a person who tends to comment when something strikes home with me or I feel I have something to say. I don’t comment on all the blogs I read (and some of them make me feel like I shouldn’t with their large number of commenters), but I certainly can understand the twinge of jealousy.

    btw – i love reading your blog. i get in delivered to my inbox so i don’t usually comment. it’s part of my email reading cycle. but i think you’re swell 🙂

  2. Rachel @ Eggs In A Row

    That is so funny, because I think everyone has unrequited blog love for someone. I know who mine is. (Not an infertility blogger).

    I know my biggest problem with blogging is that I often get posts sent to my email via my cell, so I usually read them, but then I’m not so great at going back and commenting later. The iPhone has the worst keyboard in the world and I dread typing on it. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to comment…I’m just not at the right place to do so!

    Both you and esperanza leave the most incredible, thought provoking comments and it’s my hope that I get to that level of insight someday. 🙂

  3. Esperanza

    I have totally commented many, many times on a blog and never received a comment back from the blogger. There are sometimes, when I’m commenting on the posts of an IFer who is still in the trenches, when I have absolutely no expectations that I will receive a comment on my own blog, but there are other times, when the blogger and I are on similar paths, when I wonder why she doesn’t reciprocate.

    At the same time, I’ve had women comment on my blog many times, and gone over to their blogs to read and comment, only to find that there blog isn’t quite for me, even if we are on similar paths. I always comment on a few posts but many times I don’t follow them or comment regularly. I feel bad about that but I don’t want to start feeling beholden to people just because they comment a lot on my blog. I feel like that would take away from the happiness I get from blogging and commenting.

    So I guess I would say, if a blogger doesn’t get many comments and you comment regularly, the polite thing to do is to comment at least once on your blog, but I don’t think she should have to follow you and comment with the frequency that you do on her blog. While I do believe some courtesies are best honored, we all have to do what makes us happy and fulfilled in this blogging world.

  4. I have thin skin too, unfortunately. Someone whose blog I really enjoy and frequently comment on recently stopped reading mine after previously commenting quite regularly and, honestly, my feelings are still hurt. Commenting can be time consuming and I don’t expect everyone to comment all the time on mine and I don’t do the same for others. I do try to comment sporadically when people are regulars of mine, though.

  5. I used to read several blogs but never commented. Then I started my own blog, and I realized how important comments can be when you’re the one getting (or not getting) them. Since then, I’ve tried to be a more consistent commenter, but I definitely don’t comment on every post I read. I will visit the blogs of those who comment on mine, but if I don’t have anything in particular to say in response to their posts, I’ll respond to their comment on my blog instead. Of course, this assumes that people check back in after leaving a comment, and I’m not sure that’s often the case.

  6. deborah

    I think we all have one of those. I can think of a couple, for me. And i’d bet the reason they don’t reciprocate isn’t the same for all of them. Maybe they’re not great commenters on any blog, maybe they don’t like your writing, maybe you’re going through a particular phase they can’t relate to (I have one who stopped commenting when I started ttc). I do like the solution to keep reading and just stop commenting – that’s what I usually do.

  7. I have absolutely been there! It’s a tad embarrassing to admit but I followed a few bloggers for a long time before I actually started a blog and I had become really attached to one in particular. I commented regularly and had this sense that we were kindred spirits. So I was pretty sure that she would feel the same way once she could get to “know me” through my blog. It turned out that she was polite but she was clearly not feeling it. It really bummed me out for a while – so much, in fact, that I thought I should probably stop following her since it was actually upsetting to me. Luckily, I am an adult and I got over it, sucked it up, lowered my expectations and still enjoy her blog. But, yes, egos are hard habits to break!

  8. I comment sometimes… like now…. because I feel like I have something to say and because I have time. I also like to commit to commenting “times” like IComLeaveWe.

    Other times, I don’t comment for many reasons. Sometimes, I don’t have much to say. Sometimes I have time to read, but not time to think of something good to say. Sometimes stupid blogger or whatever website won’t let me post. But also, sometimes I don’t post because I feel like the blogger and the folks commenting on her blog all “know” each other. I feel like that kid at school, watching everyone having fun, but not knowing myself how to get in on the conversation. This is probably just my own shyness though.

    I love getting comments and always try to respond back to people who took the time to come over and visit, though. It’s a really interesting part of this blogging community, the commenting and lurking and such.

  9. I agree with so many of the points above. Since I’ve gotten my iphone, I’ve been worse about commenting because I read a lot of blogs on the phone, in bed and we all know it’s so hard to comment on the phone. There are a few blogs I comment on regularly and never get any comments back. It used to hurt my feelings, but I’ve just let it go. And I agree with Esperanza, if we aren’t feeling a particular post or blog, we shouldn’t feel obligated to comment out of a sense of duty of reciprocation. That just adds unneeded stress to an activity which is supposed to be about support and ecouragement.

  10. I am so intrigued by who inspired your comment series! I would be bothered if she never once came to my blog to comment. That just seems rude. I know I’m guilty of it sometimes, but I’m trying to get better because it feels horrible to think that something as personal as your blog has been judged and found unworthy somehow.

  11. I do think it is rude to not comment on a fellow commenter’s blog! And I would have been jealous,too!

  12. I’ve stopped reading a couple of blogs where I commented regularly and never gotten even a nod of a response. And these were small blogs, so it’s not like they had hundreds (or even 5) comments regularly. I think my feelings got hurt. I feel a bit silly about it, but they also weren’t blogs that I LOVED. If someone new comments on my blog, I always follow them back and read. Even if I feel like their blog isn’t really “for me”, I’ll leave at least 1 comment. It’s interesting how differently everyone feels about this.

  13. I think I’ve been pretty lucky in that the people whose blogs I comment on seem to regularly comment on mine, too. I’m not sure which came first, but those relationships have evolved over time.

    In my recent post on followers, Trinity left a comment that was helpful to me … she said that readers come and go, but she’d only be upset if one of her regular commenters “left her.” We build relationships through our blogs, and just as in real life, we connect with the people who make most sense to us. Trinity’s comment reminded me to focus on the people who *do* visit me, and for whom I’ve made a difference, rather than on the people who come and go, or who never show up at all. For some bloggers, that group can be *very* small … but how many people’s lives do we have to touch before it becomes a significant number? Isn’t reaching just one person enough?

    Yes, I think it’s rude not to return comments. Or to comment in kind. But it’s definitely time-consuming … sometimes I leave comments instead of blogging (partly because it’s easier to respond some days than to put something of my own out there). And just as people have different styles of nurturing real-life relationships, so do people have different styles of nurturing (or not) the online ones.

    I don’t know what the Buddhists would say. I suspect that they would say notice how you feel, see where it comes from, and move on. That people can only give what they have, and that some people simply can’t give what you want them to. That the more time we invest in our own negative responses to circumstances beyond our control, the more we suffer. Rejection is just a circumstance in which the demands of both sides don’t match. You can choose to continue to read this other blog, but not because you expect her to comment … only because you like the monologue, as if you were reading a newspaper editorial.

    All of this is a very long-winded way of saying *we’re* here, and we are what counts, and WE think you are awesome.

  14. Courtney

    I find myself commenting on many people’s blogs, but I don’t have a blog myself! I do see this as similar to “liking” and commenting on photos (or posts) on FB. I know I’m more likely to “like” or comment on someone’s photo or post who has recently or regularly comments on mine. And – I’ve found myself feeling a bit irritated when I comment on someone’s posts and photos rather frequently and they don’t “like” or comment on mine. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one 😉

  15. I, too have felt spurned by bloggers. I mean, I requite — why can’t they??

    I heard once that for you to see something in another person, you must have it in yourself.

    So then I think, if I’m angsting over someone not commenting on my blog, maybe someone else is angsting over me not commenting on her blog.

    And that’s how I let it go when it comes up. Which it does.

    Zenny enough for ya? 😉

  16. P.S. Love the tag on this post. Clever girl!

  17. I’ve felt hurt by two in particular; I stopped reading one, kept reading the other, but stopped commenting. They both get a lot of comments though so I figured they just didn’t have time to respond to all their comments. It did make me more mindful about responding to people who comment on my blog (as did your posts on the topic of commenting etiquette – actually I think that’s when I started reading you regularly!) 🙂

  18. Mel

    As I said on Prompt-ly: Such a good question. I was just talking about this with a friend this week. I read who I want to read without any thought to whether they read me back. My feeling is that I read for the sake of learning something new and seeing someone else’s point-of-view, etc. I pretty much will continue reading someone through any life change or blog change — if I like the voice, I like the voice and it doesn’t matter what they are writing about. That said, there are people I also read because I like their voice AND we’re friends, and I think it adds another dimension to reading their blog. I don’t think I’d stop reading them if they stopped reading me, but it would feel a little strange.

    I guess my shorter answer is that if I get something out of reading the person, I read. Regardless of how they feel about me. Or if they don’t even know my name.

    Which in this situation, I would read and think nothing of the fact that the person doesn’t reciprocate.

  19. Sarah

    I used to have a couple different bloggers that I would comment on and never receive a reciprocal comment on my blog, so I eventually just stopped commenting. Usually those bloggers had plenty of other commenters anyway, so they didn’t really NEED me. Now, I try and comment at least once when someone comments on my blog, but sometimes I, like Esperanza, click over and realize we don’t have much in common or connect in some way and don’t end up being a regular commenter, although they might be on my blog. It makes me feel guilty sometimes :(.
    I also read mostly on my phone these days, as getting laptop time is harder and harder, and while commenting on WP blogs from my phone is easy, blogger is a PAIN IN THE ASS and I refuse to even try any more.

  20. Gil

    Commenting… cause I know you want me to! 🙂 And I have a moment to do so. (Oddly enough!)
    And that is one of the reasons I don’t comment as much as I used to: time. My time is much tighter these days. Work is crazier. Home is absolutely nuts. I get maybe 20-30 mins a day to myself before I fall asleep, iPhone in hand or book falling on my face. I just don’t get enough time to work in all the things I want to say, or could say with relevance.
    Therein lies point number 2: sometimes I don’t feel my thoughts/comments are relevant. My Mother taught me to adhere to the rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” While this is not often the case, it sometimes comes into play if I read things I may disagree with. Additionally, even if a post does touch me, and I love it a lot, unless I have something to actually ADD to the topic, I rarely comment. I don’t chime in with a “Hear hear” if that’s all I have to say. (My theory on this is a bit twisted, admittedly. i.e., “Why clutter up someone’s page with a boatload of ‘I agree with you’ comments?” However, if someone wants those comments too, I’d happily oblige!)
    Point number 3: I wonder if my comments are wanted. You see, while still infertile, I now have a child. So many of my readers sort of drifted away, and I believe that now that I have ‘crossed over’ so to speak, my viewpoint may not be wanted. In fact, I am pretty darn sure that no one actually wants to hear my viewpoint. I push myself to believe that I blog for myself. And while that is true, deep down, some part of me would like to have comments again.
    Hmm… I think I need to just make a blog post about this. Must ponder that.

  21. I’m with you. I have a blogger who I really “clicked” with what she was saying, and I am often one of the few who comment on her blog. But I think she has commented maybe once or twice on mine.
    I think it has made me really appreciate the people who DO comment. I value them and really try and comment back.

  22. it does bother me when a blogger never visits my blog – and doesn’t ever bother responding to my comments. I usually suspect that they don’t like me. Does that mean I have low self-esteem? Perhaps. I usually stop commenting – or stop following them altogether.

  23. I love your blog, and I’m sorry that I don’t comment more often. I spend much of my day just being overwhelmed with triplet toddlers, and feel like I’m not coming to enough of a standstill to leave coherent, thoughtful comments. I typically catch up on blogs after the kids are in bed, but by then my brain feels fried and it seems like an impossible task to construct sentences. I always hope to go back the next day and leave a comment, but then life happens all over again.

  24. Oh oh me too! I get sad when my commenting isn’t reciprocated but I can deal. But if I see that person commenting somewhere else I get so sad/jealous! What can you do… 😦

  25. I try to comment on the blogs of those who read me. I worry that I miss them, as I’m good at mobile reading but not commenting, then don’t always remember to go back, even when there’s a blog post I really want to respond to. Like you and the others – it is easy to get jealous if you someone else get comments from a blogger you admire. I know that some people are shy at commenting, others not, and of course, we never know what’s going on in someone else’s life. It’s a bit of a minefield – and one I try not to take personally. (But I’m not saying I’m successful!)

  26. Pingback: Unrequited Blog Love (Redux) « Stumbling Gracefully

  27. 4evrmama

    If a new blogger I’m not familar with leaves a comment on my blog, I’ll go over to see what they write. But my reader is already pretty full so I’m selective about adding more. I can’t relate to some bloggers because although we’re at the same train station, we’re not on the same platform.

    Most of the time my comments are like “that’s great!” or “congrats!” I’m one of those people who don’t send “thank you” follow-up emails so I rarely post a response in my comments. Sometimes I do, but not always.

    When I give a comment, I don’t expect anything in return. I guess maybe that it would get read, but I’m not looking for recognition by leaving a comment.

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