Q: Dear Meredith,
I am reeling emotionally from what appears to be the end of what could have been a great relationship.
I met this great guy, Kenneth, six months ago. A mutual friend set us up. I was attracted to him instantly. None of that, "Should I go out on a second or third date to see if there's chemistry?" There was chemistry for both us. I'm in my mid-30s. He just turned 40.
We started dating and things were going very well. He was busy with his job (which involves a lot of travel) so we didn't see each other much. He told me up front that he was looking to date and to get serious but that his job took priority. I've always been attracted to men with unusual jobs. I wasn't fazed by his career at all.
About a month ago, 10 days went by without a phone call or email from Kenneth. I finally sent him an email asking if things were okay. I was really anxious when I didn't immediately hear back from him. He was always good about emailing me frequently.
Well, I heard back from him a few days later and it wasn't anything I had ever expected. He said he had just found out a week ago that a girl he had slept with a month before meeting me was pregnant with his child -- and keeping the baby. What's worse is that she waited months to tell him, so (in her words, he says) he wouldn't pressure her into terminating the pregnancy.
I was sick at this news, and then sicker when he told me he had his "hands full" and couldn't see me anymore. One expects to get dumped from time to time but not like this.
(As an aside, I know he didn't cheat on me. After our first date he was out of the country for weeks.)
While I get that Kenneth has had a huge life change, I can't help but feel like I still have a place his life and him in mine. Am I crazy to think this? It was unfair of him to shut me out. Our budding relationship was full of great chemistry, laughter, deep conversation. In other words, it felt right to me.
I need to know: Can our relationship recover? He is going to be a new father in a few months with a woman he basically barely knows. Where do I fit in? Do I fit in? If I don't fit in, how does one recover from a baby mama drama such as this? Am I kidding myself? Either way, what do I now?
– This Worked Out for Gisele, Right?, Wrentham
A: It worked out for Gisele, TWOFGR, because Tom Brady said to her (and I'm guessing here), "Gi Gi, I just found out that my ex is having my child. But I've fallen in love with you and I hope that you don't go anywhere. Despite this big life change and my hectic schedule as a professional athlete, I'd like to continue this relationship."
Your guy didn't say that to you. He didn't ask you to consider sticking around. (And I'm assuming that you volunteered, right?)
I know you don't want to hear this, but it's probably best that he walked away. Yes, he's great and there was chemistry, but do you really want to stay in a relationship with someone who'll put you third? The baby will become his new priority. Then the job. Then ... eventually ... you. Can you commit to that kind of life after just a few months of dating?
If Gisele, Tom, and Bridget were on Love Letters today, they'd probably tell you that while it all worked out for them, it hasn't always been easy. I'm sure they'd tell you that their success as a family depends on the empathy, patience, and responsibility of three busy adults who want to do right by their partners and children. Right now, you're the only one in your triangle who wants this to work for everyone.
Kenneth didn't come to you with his news to have a respectful discussion. He waited 10 days while you stewed and then made all of the decisions himself. Gisele wouldn't put up with that. You can start getting over this drama by allowing yourself to be ticked off.
Readers? Should she tell him that she wants to try this? Should that request come from him? Is this worth pursuing? What's happening here? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.