Dear Miss Emily:

I'm a 27 year old veterinarian that has been in a relationship with a 28 year old man for the past 9.5 months.  Ever since we started dating he has known that I will most likely be leaving the city next year to pursue a residency.  A few nights ago, I went over the different places where I am applying to get input on where he may like to live so, if I do have to leave for a residency, he at least has some sort of say in it if he chooses to come along.  Well, last night, he broke up with me.  He says that he loves me but can't commit 100% to me right now.  He said that he has pretty much been in one relationship after the next for 10+ years and needs to be single.  He said that he is battling some demons and, although he does love me, he needs to be able to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it without having to worry about anyone else, now.  He said that he hopes that in a few months he is in a place where he can give me the love that I deserve but, right now, he can't and does not want to string me along.  I really love him and have thought that he is the one for me since the first time I met him.  It seems that whenever I talk to him about me leaving for a residency, he freaks out and doesn't want to be together.  Then we end up working things out for the time being.  This time, I have decided to just try to move on and let him be single and do what he needs to do.  He has told me many times that he isn't interested in dating anyone else, and that he really just wants to be single and hang out with the guys.  Do you think that he is really being honest with me about loving me but just not being able to settle down and commit right now? He seems very sincere when he says that he hopes that we can be in a happy  relationship, one day again, but I'd like to get someone else’s opinion. Do men just need to be single and get that out of their system sometimes?  Is he just emotionally immature? Or do you think that he is just saying these things because it will make me feel better about the breakup?
Miss Directed

---------------------------Miss Emily’s advice-------------------

Dear Miss Directed:

To some, when love flies in from the window, logic flies out.  But this man has reassessed where he is in this relationship and how it fits in with his plans.  He has decided that, although he “loves you,” he is not ready for a commitment of this magnitude.  That’s being honest.  I don’t know if he’s soft-soaping this, meaning that he doesn’t really hope to come to a place where he can give you the love that you deserve. When someone says that they, essentially, want to stay a “free spirit” so to speak, and mingle with, in this case,  the boys to his heart’s content, it’s a sign for you to be glad he’s given YOU time to re-examine your thinking.  Emotions often blur reality. Today, those in their twenties are not as apt to jump into life-altering situations.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  When someone decides that they want to share their life and make adjustments to it based on their love for another person (other than themselves), hopefully, it’s when all of the kinks are out and playing around has been explored and exhausted.  Pick the place where you think you’ll get the best residency and how it fits your needs.  You are a professional woman.  Do not let this man drain your power.  You have to stay focused at this extremely crucial time in your career.  When you move, and  IF he seeks your companionship, it will because he wants it  – and you have given him ample space.  The answers to your last three questions are: Not necessarily.  It’s possible. Yes and no.  I have said this before: At all times, maintain your dignity.  You willl never regret it.