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My Girlfriend's Pregnant

Dear Philippa,

What should I do? I just found out that the girl I'm seeing is pregnant by a guy she was dating before we met. She dropped this bomb on our fourth date. We haven't been dating long, but we really click and I'm even been thinking about our future together.

�Bruce, San Antonio, TX


Dear Bruce,

I seem to be getting quite a few letters lately on the subject of unwanted pregnancies. No birth control method, other than abstinence, is really full proof. Women can forget to take a pill and using just condoms can be like playing Russian Roulette.

Bruce, Bruce, Bruce, are you romanticizing the concept of rescuing this fair maiden? It's not unusual for a guy to picture himself in a cozy cottage with a new mother and baby. And it's not unusual for a woman in this situation to seek the security of a permanent relationship with a good guy like you. But you hardly know this woman. You don't even know if you are compatible as partners much less parents.

Picture this. You decide to move in or marry her before she has the baby. Then she's eight months pregnant and its plain to see that things aren't working out. But you're trapped. You can't see dumping her when she's about to have the baby. Worse still, flash forward two or three years when there is a child that calls you Dad and you're trapped in an unhappy marriage because you're just such a responsible guy.

Can you choose to get to know each other as if there were no baby in the picture? That means slowly and naturally letting the relationship enfold and see how you get on with each other over time�until long after the baby is born. Don't feel pressured by the circumstances or your desire to rescue her and her baby. All you need to be is an honest, good friend.

Fortunately this woman told you the truth early on. The fact that you asked me this question indicates that you're a smart, aware guy. What would you tell a friend if he shared this story with you?

Believe me, until you have a child you have no idea what an enormous responsibility this will be and how your entire life and all your plans will be dramatically changed. My heart goes out to this young woman, as yours must too. But you have a life of your own to create.

There are other women out there with whom you could also click and develop a relationship that one-day would include a child. Being a caring guy is good, but you have to take care of yourself first. Set some boundaries and establish what you want out of your own life before you decide to become a part of someone else's.




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