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Awkward! Telling a Former Flame You're No Longer Single

This week my friend came to me for advice. She just received an email out of the blue from a guy she dated and never really ended things with. He said it's been too long and wanted to catch up, so he invited her to get drinks. But since the last time she saw him, she entered into an exclusive relationship. She wants to know: "how do I make sure he knows I have a boyfriend without awkwardly assuming he wants to start something up again?"

I suggested she mention her dilemma to a trusted mutual friend who can make sure the guy has all the facts. Eventually she's going to have to write him back, unless she completely ignores the email. She's down with maintaining a friendship, but it feels wrong to get drinks in a one-on-one situation. So I also suggested she invite him to an event or party where other people will be, instead of going on something that resembles a date. How would you respond in this situation?

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