DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been dating a guy for about seven months, and things have been getting pretty serious. He has started to talk about developing what we have into a committed relationship and settling down. But I am concerned because I have a 6-year-old son whom he hasn't met yet. I do not want to get further into this relationship until I know they are compatible.
I'm not sure if it's too early to bring my boyfriend into my son's life. He doesn't have any children of his own, so I don't know how he is with children.
When is the most appropriate time to introduce him to my son? -- Inching Closer, Gallup, N.M.
DEAR INCHING CLOSER: Ask this guy what "settling down" looks like for him, considering your pre-existing family. How does he envision including your son in a potential family unit? Take his temperature as it relates to family-building so you can gauge where he stands.
Tell him your thoughts about deepening your bond. Be clear about why you haven't introduced him to your son yet. Ask him if he's ready. If you believe you and your son can potentially form a family with this man, that's great.
Make a plan together to introduce your boyfriend to your son. Start by calling him your "friend." Let him and your son develop a relationship over time. Once they have established their own connection, let your son know that you love this man and want him to be part of your life.
DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my co-workers has started hounding me on social media. He asked me to friend him on Facebook. He now follows me on Twitter and Pinterest. It's creepy. We work together. I'm not trying to be his friend.
The other day, he asked me at work why I hadn't responded to him and followed him. He told me that I was not using good manners.
Do I have to connect with co-workers on social media or be seen as rude? -- Private, Washington, D.C.
DEAR PRIVATE: You do not have to friend or follow people from work or anywhere else. But you also need to open your eyes and be realistic. Social media is not a private enterprise. By its very nature, it invites people to interact with one another.
Many people like to keep their work and home lives separate, but that isn't always possible. You can draw a line and not include anybody from your office. You can be extremely selective and invite only your real "friends," or you can welcome everybody in.
Be conscious of your decision. Tell this man that you prefer to be off-line to co-workers as it relates to social media. Know that you can't stop him from looking, though.