I wanted to be part of her family

Hello Meredith,

My girlfriend recently broke things off with me. We had just gone away together for the first time, and on the drive back she ended it. It was a surprise to me. I was really upset but had to drive so I wasn't able to respond to what she was saying in the moment. We'd been going out for five months and I, at least, thought we really hit it off. We would plan events together in the near future and I met and spent time with her kids.

I've been broken up with before, but this time it feels worse. It's been a long time since anyone special came around, and I instantly went from being lonely to having the chance at a family. I was never able to tell her I loved her and her kids, but I do. The reason for the breakup was, as she put it, no attraction. I may have been timid with her, probably because of the length of time since my last serious relationship, but I was really into her. I just didn't have the ability to show it yet. At least not with physical intimacy. I was really romantic planning her birthday and other dates. If the attraction she felt was lacking was on her end, it's confusing because just 12 hours before this, we started to be intimate with each other. Seems weird to go from getting physical to having no attraction, but there it is. I've never dated a mom before. I don't know how to deal with my feelings about losing a connection with her kids. I was getting into dad mode or at least preparing myself for it one day. I break down at the sight of my nieces and nephews now, remembering what I was working toward and lost.

– Trouble with the Breakup

It's possible to be intimate with someone and then decide there's not enough chemistry. You were content to prioritize other activities for five months but maybe she wasn't. Perhaps the physical connection came too late.

That doesn't mean you did anything wrong, by the way. All you should take from her decision is that the two of you weren't a match. You wanted to join her family and were focused on getting into "dad mode," but she was thinking about what the two of you shared – and lacked – as a couple. Those paths didn't lead you to the same place.

The takeaway here seems to be that you might be feeling less timid about your romantic life. You also know that you're interested in starting a family, and that you're happy to be with a single parent who might be looking for a good partner. That means it's a good time to go out into the world – or online – and seek out what you want. Your ex can't give you what you desire because she's interested in something else. Instead of trying to decode what that might be, focus on yourself.

As for missing the kids, this happens. You just have to grieve it. It's a reason why many single parents wait many months before introducing children to a romantic partner. Next time, you might want to make sure you're in a stronger place with your significant other before you extend the relationship to the rest of the family.

– Meredith

Readers? Is it ever appropriate to break up with someone while they're driving? Any thoughts on this particular breakup?