Shortcuts: “Should I Tell My New Boyfriend I’m Pregnant By My Ex?”

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Sad pregnant womanIt’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I am pregnant by my ex and I have started seeing someone else. My ex wants nothing to do with me since he left me for my best friend. I am afraid that my new boyfriend won’t be able to handle my being pregnant by my ex. He already thinks of my one son as his own and says he wants to start a family of his own with me. How do I handle this? I’m so scared and confused. I don’t want to keep the baby from his father or grandmother, but they don’t want anything to do with me. Please help. — Pregnant by Ex

The worst thing you could do is let this guy you’ve just started dating believe the baby you’re pregnant with is his. The second worst thing you could do is believe him when he says he wants to start a family of his own with you. You’ve just started dating! Slow down, be honest, tell him you’re pregnant with your ex’s baby, and use the time until that baby is born to see how your relationship with this new guy develops. As for your baby-to-be’s father (and grandmother), he may not want anything to do with you, but he sure as shit has every right to know about his baby if you plan to keep it. Stop making excuses, and tell him immediately.

I’m 24 and my boyfriend and I have been together for about a year now; however, I’ve known him for years prior. We recently had an argument about my possibly getting him a new motorcycle helmet. He tells me he doesn’t want me to get him anything. Ever. That no matter what it is — useful or not — he will not accept it. I’m confused as to why he feels this way, and it makes me wonder how he sees us. He and I were just friends during his last relationship, and I remember all the things he accepted as gifts and his willingness to please his then-girlfriend — a willingness I feel he doesn’t seem to have with me. He does like getting me things, but now I don’t even want them because I will never be able to return the favor. Is his behavior weird? Am I over-thinking it? — No Gifts, Please

Quit wondering how your boyfriend sees your relationship and why he won’t accept gifts from you and isn’t interested in pleasing you and ASK him. Tell him you see a difference in the way he treats you versus how he treated his last girlfriend and it confuses you. If he can’t give you a satisfactory answer that makes you feel good about where you stand with him, consider moving on–because what you’re describing doesn’t sound like a loving relationship. And if you can’t get love from your boyfriend of a year, what’s the point in being together?

My ex and I broke up about eight months ago, but I still love him. He lives three houses down so trying to get away from him is difficult. He has a new girlfriend now whom he started dating about a month after he broke up with me. I hate having to see her, and it hurts me that he moved on so quickly. But, from the time we broke up, even up until today, he tells me he still wants to be my friend and wants me in his life. When we’re just talking one-on-one, it’s like nothing’s changed, but when other people show up, he starts acting like a jerk. Also, he constantly makes eye contact, stares all the time, and waits till I look to smile or say hello. He even asks me to come over and play with his daughter. I miss him, and he knows this. I feel like in a way he is messing with my head. He wants to keep me close, but he doesn’t want me. It’s confusing and sends me mixed signals. What do you think? Is he just being nice? Does he want me to keep thinking about him? He says he will always like me, but it’ll never be anything. — Missing My Ex

Your ex isn’t sending mixed signals. He’s sending one signal very clearly; you just don’t like it. He has told you (and shown you through actions) that, while he likes having you as a friend, he is not interested in being anything more than that. Since you’re still hung up on him romantically, take a break from him. No more hanging out with him (one-on-one or in groups). No more going over and playing with his daughter. No more spying on his house to see when his girlfriend comes over. Literally, look the other direction and MOA until the thought of him not being yours doesn’t hurt anymore.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Jamielynn says:

    LW1- For christ’s sake will you get on some fucking birth control. Enough kids for you for a while.

  2. I can’t understand how LW1’s new boyfriend is that close to her son when it has not even been nine months? or long enough to show pregnancy, which is even shorter?

    1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

      I’m assuming that she already has a son in addition to being pregnant.

      1. I think she just meant that the relationship is pretty new anyway, so why is he so close to the existing son in such a short amount of time?

      2. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        Ahhhhh…thank you Friday for some extra reading fails!

  3. trixy minx says:

    I’m so happy that none of these primeval are my problems.

    1. trixy minx says:

      I have issues with swiping on my phone.

  4. Why is LW2 comparing the way he acts with her to the last girlfriend? Maybe he always felt uncomfortable getting gifts but didn’t bring it up and now he’s finally being honest. The only question I think she should ask is why is he happy giving gifts and not accepting them. Is it because the gift she was going to give him is too expensive for the seriousness of the relationship? Would he be ok with getting experience gifts, like concert tickets, or smaller tokens, or homemade gifts, or even prefer they don’t exchange gifts?
    I think I’m going to start a gift thread in the forums, people’s feelings on gifts are so fascinating to me…

    1. Because it shows a disparity in the way she is being treated. Maybe it is as you say, but he should tell her that. If you want to be someone’s girlfriend, it is an excellent idea to observe the way he treats his current girlfriend, if you can. It’s a preview of the way he will treat you. This doesn’t always happen, but in a situation where someone is your friend, it is a good opportunity to spot any potential problems that you might run into if you do become his girlfriend.

  5. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    LW1 – Did you get pregnant by your ex while you were already with your new boyfriend? Just wondering. Either way you have to tell him the truth – but yikes he may be pissed if the timeline doesn’t add up.

    LW2 – Is this a “you’re not my mom, you can’t make me wear a helmet” thing? Or does he truly not want any gifts?

    LW3 – I’d move if I were you. Can you?

  6. monkey's mommy says:

    LW 1: this happened to me with my first son.Ex and I broke up, and I started dating a guy who had serious “the one” potential- until I found out I was 10 weeks pregnant. I told my new guy, we broke up, then actually reconciled and dated for a year or so. We did break up eventually when he met someone else, someone he didn’t have to doubt. (People were always telling him I cheated, that there was no way I got pregnant before we met which wasn’t true).

    I have another friend who met a guy while pregnant, and he is raising that child and the one they now have together.

    Tell him. You never know what could happen.

  7. zombeyonce says:

    LW1, even if the father and grandmother don’t want anything to do with you or your child, if you’re going to keep it the father will need to pay child support. You’re going to need to money, I’ll bet (especially since you already have a child), and he had to take responsibility for the baby financially, if not in any other way.
    And you need to take a step back from your current relationship for your son’s sake; don’t give him another father figure that’s so new to your life since there’s every chance it won’t work out. Don’t expose him to the possible heartache when it can so easily be avoided just by waiting to introduce him to a boyfriend until you’re really serious. And by serious, I mean a minimum of six months of dating. Six months MINIMUM. Just because you feel serious about someone doesn’t mean you aren’t moving way too fast.

    1. I have several friends who date and have kids and this is what they do. No intros until they’ve been together six months. They report it works well.

  8. Man, I really thought LW3 was a high school kid, until she threw in the “daughter”.
    8 months is too long girl, MOA and find someone who actually WANTS to have a relationship with you. Relationships are so much better when both parties are actually into it.

  9. Laura Hope says:

    It’s a good thing people don’t communicate with each other. Otherwise, we might not have advice columns. Keep up the silence and confusion!

  10. howdywiley says:

    It shocks me that people will introduce their new romantic partners to their children so soon.

  11. @Pregnant by ex – tell your BF the truth ASAP! It’s all about trust, and I am sure he will understand you.

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