It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss cyber dating and breaking up.
Rule of thumb: If you don’t have a phone number for someone, your relationship isn’t “serious,” and therefore does not require an official breakup. Stop returning his emails, and if he asks you why you’ve disappeared just tell him, “I decided I wanted more out of a relationship than a pen pal.”
So while my ex was at work I packed up our stuff and left. I walked out on the man I loved cause I didn’t want to be dependent on him. I’ve regretted everything. I miss and love him so much I don’t know how I could make it right again. He was here a month ago and we hung out and he told me he’s been dating a woman for almost a year now. He said he still cares for me and loves me but he can’t forgive me for leaving without talking to him and I can’t say I blame him. Should I leave it alone and move on or do I hang on? — Miss Independent
Your ex has moved on and so have you. If you care for him, as you say you do, don’t screw up the relationship he’s built with the woman he’s been dating for a year. And next time, don’t be so quick to drag your daughter across the country without a better plan than, “I hope I find a job in this recession before all my money runs out!”
The appropriate time to tell someone you don’t want to be more than friends with him is when you realize you don’t want to be more than friends. Until then, it’s fair to continue going on dates if you haven’t totally ruled out the potential for a romantic relationship. If it’s friends you’re looking for, I’d suggest sticking to sites like Meetup.com., joining a book club (or something similar), or even placing an ad specifying your search for platonic friends, perhaps of the same gender.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.