When we started hanging out six months ago, he told me he had broken up with his first girlfriend some months before and he was still processing that, so we remained friends until he was ready to move on.
Before anything serious happened between us, he told me that he’s going to be a father. He had a hook-up and they used a condom, but there was an accident. He suggested taking the day-after pill, but she said it was unnecessary since she was on the pill. Three months later she contacted him to tell him she’s pregnant and confessed she was not on the pill; she has two kids with two men and apparently sees no problem in how she handled things. We liked each other a lot, so we talked and decided to give us a chance to see where it could go.
To add another complication, I recently received a job offer in North America, which I took. I could have stayed here in Europe longer, but the position is great and it’s been quite hard for me to adapt culturally. I talked to him about all of this as it was happening, and he’s supporting me.
It’s been really great to be with him; we have the most wonderful time just talking for hours, our sex life is great, we trust each other, communicate really well and support each other, we’re both considerate of each other’s feelings and look out for each other’s happiness. After I accepted the job we decided to continue dating and see if, when it’s closer to September (when I’ll move), we both feel it’s worth it to continue long-distance. He’ll finish his PhD early next year and he could look for a job where I am, which is a possibility he suggested. He doesn’t know what kind of role he will have in his child’s life (I haven’t given any advice, just general support), and I don’t think he will know until the child is born, which will happen in about three months. He thinks it’ll be challenging to co-parent as he and the mother have different views on parenting. I think he should be a big part of his son’s life, though I’d want him to live with me eventually; we could come visit his son often and call every day.
He’s going to have a child here, I’m moving to another continent, and yet our relationship is wonderful. Is it crazy to think there might be a way to make this work? How would you proceed in general? Being with him would also mean becoming a stepmother, which isn’t a small decision. As I don’t think he knows how he’ll feel about this child until the baby is born, I also don’t know how I’ll feel about this, but I know I love him and what we have.
All these issues are bringing up questions that normally people have much longer to consider. What should I do? — Overwhelmed With Decisions
This is too big a mountain to climb. If it were just a cross-global relationship, it would still be too big a mountain for a couple who barely knows each other. And I don’t buy that you’ve been “close friends” for a year; if you were really close friends, why did you only start hanging out six months ago? Why were you not already aware that he had just broken up with a girlfriend? Oh, and there’s another complication. It took three months after you started “hanging out” for your now-boyfriend to process his breakup, move on, and be ready to date you? And during that time you were hanging around waiting for him, he went and got another woman pregnant? I mean, I guess that’s one way to process your breakup grief.
Here’s the truth: the guy wasn’t ready to date you because he wanted some time between relationships to sow his oats, which is all well and good — I mean, I certainly don’t think anyone should rush from one relationship to another and I don’t begrudge someone taking time after a relationship to date around — but he wasn’t entirely honest with you about that, was he? He used vague language, like “processing a breakup” so that you could infer whatever you wanted to infer, and I’m guessing that didn’t include him banging and impregnating someone else. But that’s exactly what happened. And you didn’t find out about the fact until after you’d been waiting around for him for several months.
And now, after three months of everything being “really great,” you’re thinking about pursuing a cross-global relationship with a guy who has to wait and see how he’ll feel about his own baby before deciding what kind of role he wants in that child’s life and how it might affect his ability to maintain a long distance relationship and plan a future with you? Just, no.
You’re very much in the honeymoon phase on this relationship, which is a nice way of saying you’re kind of blind to the huge challenges and road blocks ahead and the stuff that should be motivating you to peace out before things get really complicated. Three months is a good length of time for a fun a fling. I say MOA now and leave it at that. Let the guy tackle his challenges ahead without the enormous burden of a cross-global relationship weighing on him. And give yourself the freedom of finding a match who can give you the attention a new relationship needs and deserves in order to thrive and move forward.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.