Anyway, in April I finally started talking to a guy I had my eye on way before I even got pregnant. By that time, I was already 4 to 5 months pregnant. We started talking, and it turned out he had a 3-year-old girl too, which made me feel a little more comfortable. We went out to eat, to movies, out dancing, to his friends’ houses, to his parents’ house, etc. I stopped going out to places with him around the beginning of last month because I was showing a lot more and I had never told him I was pregnant until last week. It was a very nerve-wracking situation. It was hard and scary for me to do; I felt embarrassed and still do. And I feel really bad. But I just couldn’t hide my pregnancy anymore. First, because the baby is coming any day now. And second, it wasn’t right and fair to him that I kept it from him for about 4 months of dating.
It’s been a week now since I told him and I haven’t heard from him. And I told him I knew I wasn’t going to since it was really a pretty scandalous thing to do. But I came to like him a lot. He would tell me the same; everything between us felt so natural and great. Until I had to tell him I was about to have a baby. Would it be a bad idea to text him? Any ideas of what he might be feeling or thinking? I didn’t tell him sooner because I was embarrassed and afraid maybe he wouldn’t give me a chance. I really liked him a lot. But maybe it’s just best to leave it alone and move on. I do have my 3-year-old and soon-to-be newborn to think about anyway. They are what matter most. I just wish my love story could’ve worked out differently. — About to Give Birth
Your scenario reminds me of a letter we discussed a few weeks back about the appropriate time to tell a potential date that you’re in an open relationship. Advice columnist Dan Savage suggested telling before having sex, but waiting until the third date/hang out/whatever to mention your (open) relationship status, saying: “Let them get to know you a bit, then spill — before fucking but after they’ve made a small emotional investment in you. They’ll be more likely to reconsider prejudices they may have against guys in open relationships after they’ve gotten to know a semi-straightforward one and perhaps be less quick to slam the door.” I disagreed with him, saying that being in an open relationship is something that should be shared at the end of the first date, and that applies to being pregnant too.
You took Dan Savage’s idea about an emotional investment making it harder to slam the door and ran with it, only instead of waiting a few dates to tell this guy about your mama-to-be status, you waited four months. This isn’t about you being “embarrassed” or “afraid he wouldn’t give you a chance.” This is about your being manipulative as fuck. You played him. You let him believe you were emotionally and physically available in a way you just aren’t as a pregnant woman (or as a father-to-be, too, for that matter). And having already had a child, you knew that! You knew in a very real and concrete way — because you’d been through it before! — that having a baby is life-changing. And yet you presented yourself as a woman who had one kind of life — as a single mom of a 3-year-old — without opening up that you were about to become a mother of two — that in the very near future, your life would at least temporarily revolve around sleepless nights and tending to the needs of a completely helpless infant. Like a potential partner deserves to know whether you’re in an open relationship — because that kind of thing matters a lot — he or she deserves to know about impending new parenthood as well.
You messed up. You know that. So what do you do now? Well, as you said, you have a 3-year-old daughter and a newborn-to-be to think about. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to ever have a love life again. Your kids should be your top priority, but, if you aren’t ready to give up on this “love story,” you could send one last message to the guy apologizing for telling such a huge lie by omission, saying you liked him so much and were afraid to scare him away but know you were wrong and don’t blame him for never wanting to talk to you again. But if he ever did want to talk to you again and if he could find it in his heart to forgive you, you would welcome hearing from him, even if he (understandably) wasn’t ready to step back into your life.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.