A breakup from left field

Dear Annie: I was dating a woman for about two years, and recently, out of nowhere, she told me that she wanted to break up with me. I’ve been trying to get answers from her, but she hasn’t been giving me straight ones. She keeps telling me that it wasn’t my fault, but I still think it was. I want to get back with her, but she is now ignoring my texts. I guess my question is: Should I try to make things right and get back together, or should I move on and forget her? — Heartbroken

Dear Heartbroken: I’m so sorry you’re hurting. Breakups are never easy, and it can be especially frustrating when you’re not getting straight answers, because you feel that if you just knew why, you could either fix it or at least have closure. But the truth is that nothing she could say would give you real closure. The only thing that will give you that is time. Although I know it doesn’t feel like it now, you’ll be OK again one day in the not-so-distant future. Losing someone who doesn’t want to be with you is actually a gain because you can make space for someone who does want to be with you.

Dear Annie: A friend and I are planning a high tea for a group of friends. We plan for it to be formal and have three courses. Would it be OK and proper to tell the ladies, in their invitations, that there is a charge? — Tea Party Planners

Dear Tea Party: Not only is it perfectly fine manners to let them know the cost in advance but it would be perfectly bad manners not to. Have a lovely teatime.

Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter from “In a Quandary in PA.” She was ready to put her house up for sale and debating whether to try moving in with her boyfriend or to move closer to her daughter (who is an hour away). Her gentleman friend said he’s content with his beer, pack of smokes and alone time. You advised her to give him an ultimatum about moving in together and to move closer to her daughter if she doesn’t get the answer she’s looking for.

If I were her, I would definitely skip the ultimatum and just move forward with putting the house up for sale. If she gave the ultimatum and he “caved,” she could move in with him, but she would always have a nagging feeling that he only did it out of pressure and not because he really loved her and wanted to spend time with her. Plus, men respond poorly to ultimatums, and she could save herself the heartache of rejection by not trying that.

Once she puts her house up for sale, he may beg her not to leave and say he wants to live with her. In that case, she would know he’s a keeper, and they could figure out their living arrangements. If he doesn’t resist the move and instead just wishes her well, she’ll know she made the right choice not to stick around for his sake. Please, no ultimatums! — Knows Better

Dear Knows: Another reader wrote in that if you have to make an ultimatum, you already have your answer. I feel that’s true 90 percent of the time, but there are times when ultimatums organically arise and are warranted. I’d also like to add that they should be made only when you really mean them and intend to follow through. Empty ultimatums stink of desperation.

(Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. This column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate columnists. Visit the website at www.creators.com.)

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