DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating a guy for several months now, and he just told me two completely different things. First, he almost proposed. He told me how much he cares for me and that he thinks he wants to spend his life with me. Wow, right? But then he also told me that his mother is ill, and he has to move back home indefinitely to take care of her. She is more than a thousand miles away in Louisiana. Really? He said he knew this would be a crazy thing to hear, but then he asked me if I would be willing to move to Louisiana with him. Nice, I guess, except he didn't propose. If I were to do that, which I might like, it would have to be with some clarity about what we are doing together. Given how fragile his mother's situation is, am I wrong to want to know what his plans are for us? -- Next Steps, Boston
DEAR NEXT STEPS: How about if you step back for a minute and assess the scenario from your own point of view. Do you want to spend your life with him? Do you want to get married? Do you want to get married to him? Can you afford to move to another town? Do you think you can find a job there? Has he said he will support you and his mother? What expectations would there be for your role in his mother's care? How do you feel about that?
These are some of the questions you need to be asking yourself and discussing with him. If you want to be with him and are prepared to have a real conversation about what you both want -- not just what he wants -- you will be able to gain clarity about what you should do.