I recently dated a guy I met online. He seemed smart, cute and normal! After a few dates, I wasn’t feeling it anymore, and so I didn’t return his calls. Since then, he’s texted me constantly. I’ve told him that I’m not interested, but the texts continue, urging me to meet with him again. How do I tell him to take a hint? -Want Out, VA

I can’t tell whether you realize that not returning his calls after several dates was maybe not the right move, but nonetheless he doesn’t have the right to saunter into harassment territory. You’ve got to be a little more firm and let him know he has no chance, and that further contact is making you uncomfortable. How about: “I’m sorry that things aren’t going to move forward with us, but I do wish you the best. Please don’t contact me anymore. I won’t be responding. Take care.”

If he starts to make you feel threatened, keep the texts and document any other contact. My guess, though, is just that he’s not taking the whole “drop off the face of the planet and let him sort it out” approach very well. So be clear and decisive — and THEN you earn the right to ignore him again.

He Doesn’t Want More Roommates

My husband and I have been arguing about letting my sister stay with us. She’s a good person, but has had some financial problems and can come across as ungrateful. We have plenty of room, and I think if she could stay with us for a while, she could get back on her feet. My husband doesn’t get along with her and doesn’t want anything to do with her. I say that if we help her now, we won’t have as many problems with her in the future. -Loving Sis

There’s a fine line between “help now” and “help now and pave the way for helping until we’re footing the bill for her nursing home.”
Separate your husband’s objections into distinct items (he’s resentful she’s been ungrateful, he doesn’t like her, he doesn’t think that helping her now will reap any benefits later). You’ve got to be able to ameliorate each objection — and if you can’t, your marriage must come first. If you can work together to take care of his concerns, then get specific and have concrete boundaries about exactly what your help will look like: how much, how long and how you’ll cut her off. Even if she stays with you, you’ll end up compromising, so be prepared.