DEAR ABBY: I am a 32-year-old divorced woman with a 2-year-old daughter. The problem is, an old boyfriend I dated in college -- I'll call him Russell -- heard about my divorce and has asked me to marry him.
Abby, I am not ready for another relationship. After several years of trauma, I have just gotten my life in order.
I told Russell we should start off slowly and keep our 15-year friendship as it was, but he won't take no for an answer.
Please don't get me wrong. I really like Russell. How do I let him down gently without jeopardizing our friendship? -- BEWILDERED IN BOSTON
DEAR BEWILDERED: It's possible that Russell is putting on the full-court press because he lost you once and doesn't want to risk losing you again. However, by pressuring you, he's going about it the wrong way.
It's reasonable and sensible that you want time to regain your balance after a bad marriage. You need time to determine what's best for you and your child. Remember, it is in your power to control what happens. When Russell calls, it's your prerogative whether or not to be available.