Annie’s Mailbox for June 28, 2011: Don’t know how to break off relationship |

Annie’s Mailbox for June 28, 2011: Don’t know how to break off relationship

Dear Annie: I’m a young woman who is living at home for the summer before moving away in the fall. Here’s my dilemma: Several months ago, I excitedly arranged for my long-distance boyfriend to live with my family and get work nearby. Unfortunately, now that he’s here, I find that I simply don’t want to be in a relationship with him anymore.

He hasn’t done anything wrong. I’m just a different person from who I was a couple of years ago when we began dating. Now his little flaws that I so desperately convinced myself to overlook seem increasingly like deal breakers.

I’m planning to give the relationship a few more weeks to make sure this isn’t simply a phase, but frankly, I don’t expect my feelings to change. How do I handle this? I realize that hurting him is inevitable, but breaking up with him in the middle of the summer and making him move out of my parents’ home could seriously undermine his efforts to pay for his own education.

What’s even worse is that my friends and family are putting serious effort into accepting him into the family because they expect us to get married. I hate that they may form an attachment to someone I am now planning to break up with. I want to do the right thing and cause the least possible amount of hurt. Please help me, Annie.

— Hearts Don’t Break Even

Dear Hearts: Don’t worry about your friends and relatives. They will manage. But you do need to talk to your boyfriend as soon as possible and explain that the relationship isn’t going to work out. Some pain cannot be avoided, so better now than later. Be as gentle as possible. Apologize for uprooting him. And, since his livelihood is currently dependent on his living arrangements, it would be gracious if your parents would allow him to stay temporarily while he looks for a place of his own. Offer to help him search. The fact that you are moving away in the fall will make this easier on both of you.

Dear Annie: I hope you will print my pet peeve so retailers will take notice. No matter where I shop, no one knows how to properly give change. If I pay $20 for a $15.95 purchase, the change is handed to me in a pile of coins, bills and a receipt. I have to fumble to count it.

I cashiered many years ago. I would give the customer the nickel, saying, “And five cents makes 16,” and then count out the remaining four dollars, saying, “Seventeen, 18, 19, 20.” Most cashiers today can’t add or subtract without the register to do the thinking for them. In addition, when the transaction is complete, I am told cheerfully, “Have a good one.” Have a good what? Whatever happened to a simple, “Thank you, and please come again”?

And last but not least, why is the receipt so long? Imagine how much paper could be saved if they skipped the surveys and advertising.

— Inger from N.H. who Hates To Shop

Dear Inger: One function of this column is to allow the readers to let off a little steam now and then. Hope you feel better.

Dear Annie: The letter from “Disappointed Grandmother” reminded me of a story I heard many years ago. Two elderly ladies were talking about gifts given to the grandchildren. Esther lamented that she had sent money to each of her grandchildren for Christmas and didn’t get a single thank-you note. Paula proudly said, “Every one of my grandchildren came personally to thank me for their gift.” At the look on Esther’s face, Paula simply smiled and said, “I didn’t sign the checks.”

— Michigan Grandma

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