Here's a story about a relationship break-up.  It's not the 'Owens case' decided in the Supreme Court yesterday (25 Jul), for whilst it would be very tempting to make the knee-jerk (is that a noun or an adjective?) point that if Mrs O thinks the relationship is irretrievably damaged but Mr O thinks it could be retrievable, that's a job for a mediator not the Supreme Court.  But the truth is that we don't know the full story and maybe they've already been down that route.

So instead I offer you the tale of professional Call of Duty player Doug "FaZe" Censor and the “World’s Sexiest Weathergirl” Yanet Garcia - yes, these are real people.  Doug and Yenet have been in a well-photographed relationship for three years, but now he's broken it off.  Why?  Because his involvement with "one of the most beautiful women in the world. She's a supermodel" was getting in the way of his ambition to become world champion at a computer game.

Now, most of the reaction to this story about two highly photogenic individuals has been of the "really dude, are you crazy"  variety, but I've been thinking about how I would respond if they'd come to me for mediation.  There'd be a huge temptation to be judgmental and maybe even try to persuade Doug to change his mind, but what I'd really want to do would simply be curious and try to understand each person's thinking.  For it's this exploration of underlying concerns, and the surfacing of fresh insights, which is so often key to success in mediation. I can help them think, but they shouldn't need me for advice, and it's not my place to offer it.

Though I may break my rule just this once - guys, when you dump a girl don't talk about having to "pick my poison".  

Graham Massie is a practising commercial mediator and director at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).  Relationship advice also available - but take it with a pinch of salt.

To book Graham as a mediator, contact the CEDR Commercial Team at adr@cedr.com or call 0207 536 6060.