Let them down easy - or not - with Net help; Breakup: Whether you like the direct approach or prefer to drop subtle hints, there's a site that can offer assistance.


Did your summer fling start out footloose and fancy-free in June? Shift into hot and steamy come July? Shoot off the charts by August?

Well, summer's over, and like every other, uh, sorta good thing, this too must come to an end -- and fast. Now you have to figure out how to break The News. Problem is you've worn out your best friend's ears with all the Technicolor, surround-sound details, so how do you disengage?

Like just about everything else in this high-tech age, if a couple of well-turned keystrokes brought you together, a different combination can help dig you out. If you want to send a Dear John e-mail or create a hand-tailored, hard-copy farewell, you can strike the right balance with a few tools -- all easily available online.

For those who prefer the cut-and-dried method, waste no time and start with the Ex-Files postcard station (www.lifer.com/X/send.html), where you can send, as the opening page promises, an "evil Ex-greeting to your ex-girlfriend or -boyfriend and tell him or her just exactly how you feel. How about 'Just writing to say I miss you ... about as much as the plague.' "

If the indirect approach is more your style, Polite Subtle Hints (www.politesubtlehints.com), for $12.95, will send your soon-to-be-ex an anonymous note and trial-size product via priority mail. Bug repellent and Preparation H are among their offerings.

If your Romeo needs things spelled out more directly, visit www.dfilm.com/new_site/movie_instant_index.html, where you can single-handedly produce a digital, animated short staging your breakup scenario -- complete with soundtrack. For $1, Magic Spells (www.maxpages.com/pmk) will cast just that. And Cyrano (www.nando.net/toys/cyrano.html) will write a personalized goodbye for you based on information you type in.

But if you are bereft of ideas about how to even begin to say those magic words -- "I don't love you, and I never really did" -- there are plenty of sites that can help bolster your reserve. Breakup Girl (www.breakupgirl.com) can help you baby-step toward detonating the bomb, then guide you out the exit door. Current topics include "How to Make a Scene With Breakup Girl" and "The World History of the Breakup."

Those who find the pen, er, keyboard mightier than just about anything can cyber-mosey to www.snap.com and click on, of course, "Bon Voyage." There, you can hand-write a personalized message that the site will send for you via snail mail. Choose from an array of ready-made sentiments: "Although our lives have only crossed each other's paths for a short period of time, I can already tell you this ... it's been long enough."

"When sending a breakup card, you want to say it right the first time, avoiding that I-wish-I-said-that feeling," says Felicia Lindau, chief executive and co-founder of Sparks.com (www.sparks.com), the largest online greeting-card company. "Sending a real card in the mail has a way of helping when you really want the message to sink in, whether it's I-love-you or I-love-you-not."

Pub Date: 09/13/99

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