Dear Wendy: “How Can I Gently Dump My Boyfriend?”

It’s time again for “Shortcuts,” wherein I answer readers’ letters in two sentences or less. 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 ending dead-end relationships and how to scare a guy off in three easy steps.

I have been seeing a former high school classmate for about a month and a half. We live two hours apart from one another and have lives and jobs in our mutual towns and have been spending nearly every weekend together, but to be honest, he is way more into our relationship than I am. The next three weeks are busy for me as I’m moving in with a roommate, have commitments with my job, and won’t be able to see him, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about that. He is ready to introduce me to his entire extended family, but I am actually looking for the exit as the distance isn’t working for me. I feel like my life stops when he comes to visit or I go visit him and I sacrifice things I want to do on my weekends to be with him. How can I end this really new relationship gently? — Fizzled Out

“I’ve had fun hanging out with you these last few weeks, but with all the commitments in my life right now, I’m realizing I just don’t have the time or energy for a long-distance relationship. Thanks for understanding.”

I’m engaged to be married to the most wonderful guy I’ve ever known. He’s sexy, sensitive, genuine and smart. He works hard, has a great sense of humor and is confident, physically fit and well-endowed. My parents love him, my brothers adore him and my friends idolize him. Unfortunately, I resent everything about being with him: I don’t enjoy the sex (I fantasize about everything but him); I can’t wear heels because he’s so short; I can’t spend money like I used to; I’m putting school and friends on hold and I feel awful about everything I do. I’m being blamed for our financial situation, and although we both work, I work longer hours than he does but never have an extra penny. I’m 24. I want to do a lot of things with my life. I want his dreams about being successful to come true, but I don’t want to wait around for someone who has no idea what he’s doing. There are a lot of things wrong with our relationship, and I don’t think I can keep pretending that everything is okay, but I’ve tried to break up with him twice. He cries and I cry and then we move on. I can’t live like this. Help! — Reluctant Bride

A few tears now is NOTHING compared to the years of misery you’ll be suffering through if you get married and continue this charade of a relationship. The right choice isn’t always the easy choice and as hard as it is going to feel, the best thing you can do for yourself and your fiancé is to break up for good so you both have a shot at genuine happiness with someone you’re better matched with.

I’m a 26 year-old single woman and a little over a week ago, I went on a date with a guy I connected with on OKCupid. The first date was flawless and I instantly felt like he could be “the one.” In the days following our date, we continued talking and the feeling of butterflies was mutual. But two days before our second date, he canceled, saying he had a work commitment. He made no mention of rescheduling. Instantly, my defenses went up, and I foolishly deleted him from my Facebook. I assumed he wasn’t interested and my defense mechanisms kicked in. Shortly after I did this, he texted me about how badly he felt and wanted to reschedule. I knew I had to come clean, which I did, and apologized. I could tell he was thrown for a loop, but he claimed everything was status quo. I texted him the next day, twice, and got no response. Convinced that I had screwed up a good thing, I went out with my girls the following night and got totally hammered. I mean, blacked-out drunk. When I got home, I took to Facebook, again, and sent him an emotionally slutty message in which I further put my feelings out there. The message was along the lines of “I’ve never sparked with a guy like you before.” He sent me a pic of himself via text the next day, and I discovered he hadn’t read the Facebook fail message. And he also claimed he never received my texts. I texted him the next day after I was sure that he read it and explained that I was intoxicated, but I didn’t regret anything I said. Again, he claimed everything was fine. It is now two days later, and I haven’t heard anything from him. I vowed not to text/call anymore to avoid looking clingy. Wendy, have I totally messed up a good thing? Is there any turning back/fixing this situation? Should I, dare I say, text him again? — Keeping a close watch on this heart of mine

Yes, you messed up, but whether it was a “good thing” or not is certainly debatable. Resist texting him again and in the future slowwwww down and wait more than one date before you start imagining you’ve met “the one.”

For everyone, let this be a lesson to you: do not drink and Facebook!