DEAR ABBY: I am a divorcee with college-age children. Two years after my divorce, I started a relationship with a man; we have been dating for six years.

I do not love him. He, however, professes to adore me. I do not want this to go on any longer. I have some serious health issues and I'm not interested in having him as my caretaker.

He's a good man. He deserves someone who wants the devotion he is so willing to give. How do I tell him to move on?

- Dragging My Feet in Texas

DEAR DRAGGING YOUR FEET: The longer you put this off, the harder it will be. The magic words are:

"I have enjoyed your friendship, but I'm not in love with you. I had hoped that as time passed I would fall in love with you, but it hasn't happened. I want to deal with my health issues on my own. What I do want is to end our relationship so you can find a woman who will love you the way you deserve to be loved. Sadly, that's not me - but I wish you well and . . . goodbye."

Those are the words that will set you - and him - free.

DEAR ABBY: I am a veteran, and while I have spent this past year in school, I can't seem to connect with any of the younger students there. I feel I can't enjoy school at my age (23) after all my experiences in combat.

I can't decide whether to drop out or tough it out and deal with these kids who don't take education seriously. Any thoughts?

- Torn in Milford, Conn.

DEAR TORN: The students you describe are at a very different level of maturity than you. After having experienced combat, you have a different perspective on what's important in life than someone who hasn't been tested.

You have earned the right to a college degree, so please don't waste the opportunity. If you complete your education, you will have more career options than if you quit now.