Finding out that your girlfriend is pregnant can be scary. You probably don’t know what to do. Your life is about to change and you might not feel ready for that. Most people feel like this can’t really be happening and some even pretend that it isn’t. This will not change your situation. If you think your girlfriend is pregnant here are some steps to take:
Confirm – First, take a deep breath. The first step is to make sure your girlfriend is really pregnant. Go to a medical clinic and have her get tested. A simple blood test will confirm whether or not you are going to be a father.
(If it turns out your girlfriend isn’t pregnant, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. You should both be tested for STI’s and you need to be vigilant about using birth control methods to avoid ending up in this situation.)
Communicate – If your girlfriend is pregnant, you are going to have lots of decisions to make together. You need to be able to talk and share your feelings openly. Sometimes, when guys hear the news, they don’t always have the best reaction.
If you said something that hurt her feelings, you can start by apologizing. Then you can both share your honest feelings with each other. Fear, guilt, and anger are common emotions at this time, but remember that you got into this together and you are going to need to work together. Be a good listener.
Remember, this shouldn’t be a one-time conversation. You both need time to think and process what is happening, but you need to keep the communication lines open. You are facing one of the biggest decisions of your life, and you need to talk until you both feel good about what you decide together. You don’t have to rush things, but you don’t want to ignore the problem either. Make sure your girlfriend knows that she’s not alone in this situation.
You also need to communicate with your parents or loved ones. While these may not be easy conversations to have, your parents love you and are there to help you. Don’t make decisions without talking to them and getting their help and advice.
Plan – After you’ve talked, it’s time to come up with a plan. This is not easy because you will need to decide what is best for you and what is best for your child. There are lots of options to think about. A trusted adult friend or parent can help you sort out these options.
Some guys help parent their child as a single dad while others decide to get married and raise their child together. There are other options like temporary foster care or adoption. Other decisions, like abandonment of your child or your child’s mother or abortion, have serious, long-term emotional consequences and need to be fully understood. Never do something you can’t undo or will come to regret in 10 or 20 years. It is so important that you discuss all of this carefully with the adults in your life who love and care about you.
Whether you love this girl or want this baby, you are still a father and now you have responsibilities to your child. None of this will be easy, but there are lots of people who are ready and willing to help you. Talk to one of them today.