I wish I hadn’t pushed for a baby

Let me ponder your problem. How's your relationship life? What's stressing you out? Send a question about it to [email protected] or fill out this form.

I'm in my early 40s and met this amazing guy. The relationship took off immediately. I adored him. He broke up with me, though, for putting pressure on him to have a child. He wants kids too, and I felt like I was running out of time. I've been miserable since it happened. I asked if we could get back together if we explored other options that would give the relationship more breathing room, but he said no. He has his own issues he's working on.

I want to ask him if he'd reconsider if I gave up the idea of a baby altogether for now. I just miss him too much. I'm not sure if continuing to offer compromises is simply making me look worse to him and uncentered. I wish I could go back and take the whole thing slower. Thanks for considering this complex non-question!

– What if


Don't offer any more compromises. If he wanted this enough, he'd be coming up with ideas to make this work.

You do want a kid, but he's not ready now. It could be years before he wants to start that process. You don't want to wait, and that's OK.

You've learned that when things get complicated and the pacing seems off, he goes for a clean slate. He doesn't want to compromise or find another path to happiness with you. That says all you need to know.

By the way, I'm not trying to make him the villain here; I'm just saying it's not a good match.

He's struggling with his own stuff, and he has to deal with them on his own timeline. You can't fix that, nor can you adjust all of your goals to pretend you're someone new.

I know you miss him, but grieve it as a real loss so you can move on.

You learned a lesson – that your goals have to be balanced with getting to know someone at the right pace. That's not just for the other person, to avoid putting pressure on them, but also for you. You might have jumped to next steps with this ex before you knew how he handled complicated situations.

Amazingness is, well, amazing, but it doesn't count for much if the person bails. Take a beat and then see what's next.

– Meredith

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