Dear Harlan,

My girlfriend currently is 13 weeks pregnant. The pregnancy wasn’t planned. I want to be the best father to my child. I have my college degree and a decent job, but don’t think I can make enough to take care of us. We are having a hard enough time finding an affordable place to move into together. But now, she suddenly seems reluctant to move in with me. She says she’s not ready and unsure if she can be with me forever. I love her very much and want her to be my wife, but right now, things aren’t looking too good. Another complicating factor is that her mom has been taking care of her. In the past, their relationship was very turbulent. I’m confused and scared. I want to keep making her happy, but I can’t seem to do things right any more.

Pushed Out

Dear Pushed Out,

Right now, your girlfriend’s life is about fear and the unknown. She needs comforting and to be grounded in the known. That’s why she’s clinging to her mom. The way to help her and yourself is to focus on what you know and not control the unknown. What you know: You need to make more money. You want to be the best dad. You love her. She’s uncertain about the future. Take the next few months and focus on what you can control. If you need to make more money, look for a new job and consider a new path (possible grad degree). If you want to support her emotionally, go to all the appointments, prenatal training courses and ask her how you can support her. If you know she’s not ready to commit, allow her space. If you need help being the best dad, talk to other dads (single dads, too). Find support. Focus on being the best dad and partner and let the rest unfold.

Dear Harlan,

I’m not going to deny that I’ve gotten my heart shattered in the past. So, you can imagine my confusion now that I’m interested in a boy at my summer job. If we date, I’ll only get to hang out with him for the next two and a half months until I move seven hours away (by car) for college. We only really hang out together when we’re both on break or when we run into each other when we’re in the same place at work, but when we are together, we both joke and laugh and all that, and he’s so adorable. I want to tell him I like him, but I’m scared of getting my heart broken again. Should I even bother? And if I do end up telling him, how should I say it?

Falling in Love Before College

Dear Falling in Love,

If you can’t tell him in your own words, don’t tell him. Here’s why – there’s a good chance he’ll want to date you. He might even want to do more with you. And if you date him and do more, there’s NO WAY you’ll be able to focus on college. If you’re too uncomfortable talking to him now, it will be harder once there’s a history and distance. Until you can feel comfortable talking to him, you’re better off not kissing him.

Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online:

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