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 sort of 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 may just be able to help dig you out. If you want to send an e-mail Dear John 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 Romeo needs things more spelled out, visit www.dfilm. com/new_site/movie_instant_in dex.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.

Those who find the pen, er, keyboard mightier than just about anything can cyber-mosey to www.snap.com and go to its living section; then click on "Relationships."

There, you can handwrite a personalized message that the site will send for you via regular old 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."

Adios and You're Outta There!

Waning romance? Some breakup advice from the Web:

"Summer romance is kind of like summer camp. You and your friend(s) are totally inseparable . . . until you're separated. To put it another way: How many people do you remember who were 2 Good 2 B 4 Gotten?"

-- www.breakupgirl.com/advice

"Don't drag it out! When it is over, it's over. You're not doing your partner any favors by delaying the inevitable when you have decided that you definitely want to break up."

"Don't overlap relationships. Don't move in a new partner before breaking up with your current partner. This isn't good for you, and it's not honest to your current partner."

"Let's be friends? Don't expect to be friends after a breakup. It depends upon whether you were friends before you became romantically involved. You don't always have to like the people you fall in love with."

-- www.lovestories.com

"When telling her the awful truth, you should have a solemn face and say the words like you mean them. . . . Telling her in person is never easy, breaking up never is, and you owe it to her to tell the news of your breakup to her personally. Not on the phone, definitely not over e-mail, but in the flesh."

-- www.adolescentadulthood.com