Dear Miss Emily:

I have been with this guy off and on for th past 3 years. We even planned to marry, or so I thought. He's now been gone for well over a year. He made regular phone calls and emails at first. However, over the past few months he calls but never has more than a word or two before he has to go. He keeps telling me that he loves me and wants to be with me yet every time he plans to return, something comes up. I recently told him that I can’t do this any longer, and that I don’t think he ever loved me at all. He says this hurt him and there is now no reason for him to contact me anymore. Did I do the right thing here?
Down and Out
--------------------Miss Emily’s advice-----------------

Dear Down:

Your situation is a very odd one, indeed.  You don’t explain why he’s not in the immediate area where you live.  If he were in the armed forces, I could see why you’ve had a long distant relationship, but you say, “every time he plans to return.” This has me wondering if he works for the CIA, and can’t come home because tracking down those nasty terrorists is screwing-up his plans.  The whole situation sounds absurd.  You should never have planned to marry someone who is missing in action.  He sounds like he’s incredibly unstable and, yes, you did the right thing by telling him you can’t do this (whatever this is) any longer.  If you yearn for a real relationship, where the person is present and accounted for, get on something like or another reliable dating service.  But first, figure out why you would put up with this kind of situation in the first place.  Surely you have more to offer than a half-baked proposal from a guy who is out of sight and can’t even carry on a phone conversation.