He told me he can’t commit to me

I just got home from a date. I've been seeing him for several months since leaving my job. I knew him at work for a couple of years.

This friend told me he couldn't see himself being responsible for my daughter if something happened to me. This was at the beginning of the date. There wasn't context for it, it just kind of came from out of the blue.

Once seated at our lunch, he also told me he could not make a commitment to me but that we could be friends. I enjoy spending time with him but now I am not so sure I should be. I have read enough letters in your column to know that if you have feelings for someone and they don't reciprocate, it's time to move on. Also, when I mentioned a couple of career dreams, he kind of shot them down.

So I am thinking, he can't see himself caring for my daughter, he can't make a commitment to me, and he can't support my career, and that's pretty much everything important to me, beyond my immediate family, my school, my apartment, and my community. I feel like I lost everything I thought I wanted with this man in an hour! Is it time to walk away?

- Nice While It Lasted


Well, you win the prize for worst lunch date. That sounds like a very unpleasant hour.

Now it's time to walk away, and your last paragraph explains why. You could make a very good PowerPoint presentation out of that paragraph. It tells you everything you need to know.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should feel great about any of this. Many letter writers have trouble with breakups because they don't get answers, but having them doesn't necessarily make the process any easier. It's a disappointment, no matter what.

The worst part about this seems to be the surprise of it all. You didn't see this coming, which means your brain needs a moment to catch up. Give yourself that time. Also know that even if he hadn't declared his lack of intentions, you might have started to question your compatibility. It sounds like the career thing on its own might have pushed you away.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts?