It’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 firstname.lastname@example.org.