Dear Wendy: “Should I Tell My Former Fling I’m Pregnant?”
I am a 19 year-old college student who two weeks ago had a pregnancy test come up positive even though I always use birth control when I have sex. I went in to Planned Parenthood and they said that my test was negative, but that they MIGHT see something on the ultrasound so I am probably just under five weeks along. I want to get an abortion and I have no hesitation, but I am unsure if I should tell the guy. He is and was a good friend of mine and we slept together a couple times on a whim over spring break (always sober or basically sober). I decided not to continue it because a friend of mine (who also had a brief fling with him) confessed that she had real strong feelings for him and I didn’t want to get into the middle of it. Now, do I tell the guy that I am most likely pregnant? I am getting the abortion next week, and it might be nice to have my guy friend with me, but I don’t want to ruin any chance my girlfriend has at a relationship with him. Also, I doubt he would be pro-life but we have never really talked about it. What do I do? — Expecting the Unexpected
First thing first: get another pregnancy test and make absolutely sure you’re pregnant. If you are and if you’ve decided 100% you’re going to have an abortion, you’ll need to choose someone to come with you to your appointment. Clinics always require you have someone to not only provide emotional support while you’re there, but to drive you home when you’re released. You’ll want to choose someone to come with you who’s responsible (and won’t stand you up when you need him or her) and has proven to be a good friend. If that doesn’t describe the guy who got you pregnant, you need to really decide what your motive would be for sharing the news with him. If you morally feel like it’s his right to know, that’s one thing, but if you’re hoping he’ll be supportive, you may be disappointed and you need to be prepared for that.
Now, there will probably be commenters on this thread who say it’s the guy’s right to know he got you pregnant and that you’re having an abortion. I say it doesn’t matter what those commenters — or I — believe. What do you believe? Forget about the friend of yours who has a crush on him and consider your own feelings for a minute. If you think this is information you should share with him — if not telling him is something you think you might feel guilty about later — tell him, but understand that he may have a differing opinion about terminating the pregnancy. Again, there will probably be commenters who say he has as much right as you to decide whether the pregnancy should be terminated. But it’s not their pregnancy. It’s yours. And if you think it’s 100% your decision, then legally, emotionally, and morally that’s all that matters.
Now, what about that girlfriend of yours who has a crush on your former fling? Here’s the thing: even if you keep this pregnancy a secret from them both, you’re already in the middle of a love triangle. After all, you’ve had a fling with the guy and you’re friends with them both, so while your pregnancy certainly complicates matters, it wasn’t exactly a drama-free production to begin with anyway. I say this not to make you feel more guilty, but to actually relieve some of the guilt you might feel. In the great scheme of things, an unwanted pregnancy is a far bigger deal than nursing a crush that may not lead anywhere. If things don’t work out with your friend and the guy — for reasons that may or may not have anything to do with you, for the record — she’s gonna get over it; she’ll be OK. And you know what? So will you. Just take care of yourself and do what feels right in your heart.
*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.