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DEAR ABBY: I have begun dating a man I'll call "Tom." Things seem to be going well. Tom has met my son -- they get along beautifully -- and we're starting to meet each other's families.

For my son's sake, I have stayed in fairly close contact with my ex's parents. They have asked on more than one occasion when they can meet my new boyfriend, but I haven't given them a straight answer because, honestly, I don't want them to meet Tom. Since I started dating again, I have been trying hard to put my past behind me, and that includes my ex and his family. To do otherwise would be bad for me. What should I do? -- MOVING ON IN DULUTH

DEAR MOVING ON: If you and Tom become more serious, at some point he is going to meet your son's grandparents.

If there is something that you are ashamed of, I think you should have a frank talk with Tom and lay your cards on the table before he finds out from someone else. Unless there's a court order preventing your ex from seeing his son, I doubt that you will be able to keep these two parts of your life completely separate.

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