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Should we support her relationship?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  November 1, 2013 08:44 AM

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It's a friend letter today ...


Q: Meredith,

We are at a loss here!!

A very good friend of mine is in a brand new long-distance relationship (about 3 months and over 200 miles), and the guy she is seeing let her know that his ex is pregnant and that he is the father.

According to my friend, the ex-girlfriend wants nothing to do with her boyfriend, and she is fine with him signing over his rights to the baby. My friend is a little torn about whether she should continue the relationship since she sees a future with him, or get out now to escape what is to come once this baby arrives.

My friend has definitely fallen for this guy and truly cares about him, and a part of her wants to stick around since she thinks they will have a future together. We have tried to get her to see the repercussions that could happen. For example, what if the child comes back to search for his father one day? Would she be able to handle that? Or what if the ex changes her mind and wants him back? Or if he changes his mind about signing his rights away, would she be OK with taking care of someone else's baby?

My friends and I have tried to find out what happened between her boyfriend and his ex to make sense of why she's willing to let the father of her child walk away, but all he has told her was that it just "didn’t work out."

Our question to you would be: If you were in our shoes, do you tell your friend to run as fast as she can since this is a baby and not a car they bought together, or do you stand by whatever decision she makes, and hope for the best but expect the worst?

– Friends in Need, Quincy


A: You have to accept her decisions and support her through the process. It's not your job to tell her what to do.

I understand that it's frustrating to watch someone put themselves at risk in a relationship, but you don't know what's best for her right now. All you can do is ask questions. "How are you feeling about this guy?" is so much more helpful than "You should run!"

Also: When someone writes in about a friend's love problem, I have to question the motivation of the letter writer. Sometimes it's clear to me that letter writers are unhappy with their own love lives and that they're having trouble watching a friend travel down a similar path. Or sometimes they're just jealous. In your case (and there seems to be a few of you), I have to wonder whether you're all just sick of hearing about this drama. Are you writing in because there's been too much talk about this guy? If so, make sure you tell your friend what's happening with you. She has to remember to think about others, even if she's in a turbulent relationship.

For the record, my big issue with her relationship is the distance. She probably doesn't know what this baby means to her because her boyfriend is so far away. Ask her about that. How will this work if there are 200 miles between them?

Readers? What should the friends do to be supportive in the right way? Could this relationship work? Do you think the friends are annoyed that they have to keep talking about this guy? Help.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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.

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