DEAR HARRIETTE: I broke up with my ex-boyfriend two years ago, but we kept the lines of communications open. We go out from time to time, and I still like him. Recently, he told me that he is planning to move to San Francisco, and he asked me if I would be interested in joining him. I am not too sure I would want to move across the country because I already moved from Virginia to New York City to be with my former fiance, and I promised myself that I would not move for another man unless we were married. How do I tell my ex that I will not be going to San Francisco with him? I still like him. -- Torn, Queens, New York
DEAR TORN: I want you to take a deep breath and then think seriously about what is happening in your life. Consider this ex-boyfriend. What do you like about him? Why are you two still friends? Do you still have feelings for him? Would you like to be married to him? If you think that he is the man for you, let him know. Rather than saying you will not be going with him to San Francisco, tell him the truth: You would love to go with him -- as his wife. Explain that as much as you care for him and would like to build a relationship with him, you are unwilling to "play house," so to speak, by moving 3,000 miles away without first making the bigger commitment of becoming life partners.
From that declaration, you can then begin to have a real conversation about the future, about each of your hopes and dreams and about whether your goals and hearts can mesh.