DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got out of a relationship not too long ago that I believe was toxic for both of us. We took our time apart, but he has appeared again in my life asking to start over and be friends. He says that he is different and he wants me to get to know the “new” him; however, I am not sure what to do. Should we be friends and see if there is a relationship for us in the future, or should I just leave it alone and move on and continue healing? I need some help. -- A Girl on the Rise
DEAR A GIRL ON THE RISE: Trust your gut. You say that you “just got out of a relationship” and that it was “toxic.” It probably took a lot for you to be able to extricate yourself from this relationship. I suggest that you stay the course and build your life independent of your ex. You can congratulate him on turning his life around and wish him well. But don’t welcome him back so soon. Even if he has had an "aha!" moment and is committed to being a better man, he needs time to practice that. Encourage him to live his life as you live yours. Don’t go backward. Stay on the rise.