DEAR CAROLYN: I met a guy in 2011 and we fell madly in love. At the time he had a girlfriend and she was pregnant, but I was OK with it! She found out and started sending me insulting messages to which I never responded (except once when she mentioned my mother!).
At the end of 2011, I broke up with the guy because I wanted him to be a good father and boyfriend. In 2012, the lady befriended me and we sort of became close. I’ve always had contact with the guy and he promised me that one day we will be together.
Now they broke up and the guy asked me to give our relationship a chance. How and when do I tell her I’m planning on giving my relationship with the baby daddy/ex-boyfriend a chance?
DEAR S.: You tell her as soon as you’re ready for her to dump you.
I suggest also waiting until you’re ready to see that, even though she obviously has or had some maturity issues of her own, her dim view of your character will be dead-on accurate – that is, if you proceed with your plan to claim the spoils of not just waiting for this little family to fail, but also actively helping it fail by staying romantically in touch with this (choke) “baby daddy” throughout. (Since when did noncommittal parenthood become cute?)
So when you’re ready to face the reality of being that person, then go for it. If you’re not ready, then please take a hard look at who you’ve become, and how you can turn that around.
DEAR CAROLYN: I’ve been in a relationship for 10 years. We split up a year ago and I moved on, but he didn’t and wanted to try again. I did, too.
I think the time apart did worlds for us, but now I see an old problem creeping back in: We define our future differently. He wants to continue our two-city commute and stay together. I can only do that if I feel like I have two homes.
He has helped to shape ours here (new place, buying furniture together), but he won’t change anything at his. I feel like a visitor there and just know this will be a replay of why we parted.
I’ve tried everything but an ultimatum. It’s not my style nor do I think it’d be well-received. I’m out of ideas and falling out of love again. I do love him, but I love feeling like I’m home with him wherever we spend our time more. Thoughts?
Not So Sure Now
DEAR NOT SO SURE: Before you gave this relationship another shot, while you were still discussing it, was the time to draw this line.
You still need to talk about it – it is a deal-breaker, right? – so take care to frame it not in terms of consequences to him (lobbing an ultimatum), but of consequences to you (articulating a need).
Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.