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[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="DarkOrchid"]Hey guys,

My ex-girlfriend is pregnant. Her ex-boyfriend, by whom she is pregnant, is currently off the scene because she doesnít trust him not to cheat on her, as he has in the past. At the time she and I got together last summer they were separated. But I didnít realise the extent of their history, which eventually conspired against me as she got back with him. I was hurt but I accepted that they were well suited for each other and I tried to see her as a friend. We regularly spoke on the phone but never saw each other in person.

We had a falling out before Christmas and didnít talk for a while because I over-stepped the mark and she said she didnít need me making things more confusing for her. I accepted that. So I was surprised to hear from her again after Christmas. Thatís when she told me she was pregnant and that she had split up with her boyfriend. Alarm bells started ringing straight away. Now a few weeks later, my concerns were realised when she asked me last Friday whether I was prepared to take on her and her baby.

The way she asked was as though she assumed that was what I wanted and she was very angry when I told her I only see her as a friend. Sure, we have been talking fairly regularly and we get along as friends and make each other laugh and reminisce about our time together. But I donít think I gave any clear signals that I wanted to get back with her, let alone be a father to her baby. After she got angry we didnít talk for a couple of days and, once again, I didnít expect to hear from her. But she called me on Sunday evening and we cleared the air.

Iím not sure how to proceed. I want to be there for my ex-girlfriend as a friend and I canít deny I still have romantic feelings towards her. But I know I couldnít give her what she wants and needs. I want children but I want them to be my own and with the girl with whom Iíve chosen to spend the rest of my life. However, it seems that neither of us can help ourselves, and we end up flirting whenever we talk.

I donít know whether I should cut or reduce contact with my ex-girlfriend, or explain to her exactly how I feel and continue to be her friend but be stricter with myself to keep the boundaries distinct. I should add at this stage that itís important for me to maintain a dialogue with her because my ex-girlfriend has a hard time of it with people letting her down, and I donít want to be just another let down for her.

Has anybody got any experience of this kind of situation? Thank you :)[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="DarkOrchid"]Right now I'm feeling sad :( There have been some developments over the last few days.

Firstly, I have started chatting to a new girl, Lora. She and I have been IM contacts for over a year and on Thursday evening I decided - for no discernable reason - to say "hi" for the first time in nearly that long. We chatted online for three hours and it felt like thirty minutes. She was a different girl to the one I remember from before: more mature. She gave me her telephone number and asked if I could call her. We then spoke for three hours. In the morning, by text message, she said I had "won her over". We have spoken every night at length and we're building up to meeting up. We don't live too far apart.

Meanwhile, yesterday my ex-girlfriend, Louise (these are middle names, by the way), called me and essentially told me that she wishes we lived closer together because she could do with some male company. I knew in that instant that trouble was brewing. Tonight it came to a head, sooner than I feared. I was talking on the telephone to Lora when Louise sent me a text message requesting that I call her. Being the soft fool that I am I asked Lora if I could call her back. She was instantly funny about it and she didn't even know who it was I was going to call :( I guess she had a gut instinct.

Well, it turned out that Louise was half asleep and she asked if I could call her tomorrow instead. So I sent a text message to Lora to ask if I could call her back and she replied to say yes, but in a very short way. I tentatively called her, wishing I hadn't got off the phone from her in the first place, and there was a definite atmosphere. The conversation wasn't flowing at all so I said I should go to get a good night's sleep and Lora basically hung up on me. I felt gutted. I can't explain it but it feels fateful that something good is destined to happen between Lora and I. So I tried to act decisively to reverse some of the damage.

I sent her a message to apologise for abandoning our conversation for the sake of my "friend". I said it felt like I had upset her and she replied to say that I had. A few messages later and she had told me that she really feels strongly about me. Last night in her good night text message she basically said she would like to be my girlfriend but I held back. I figured that had something to do with her mood this evening. So I asked her if she would like to be my girlfriend. She replied to say yes and asked why I was asking. I sent her a message to ask if I could be her boyfriend but she hasn't replied. I am encouraged because she had previously sent me a message to say she needed to sleep and she ended it by calling me a pet name.

Now... I know the more sceptical of you will be wondering what the heck I am doing asking a girl I have never met whether she would like to be my girlfriend. But I have just got that feeling that we are going to be a good match. In her words she has "never clicked with anybody this quickly". But that could just be because I'm a good listener and a natural conversationalist... Anyway, suffice to say that even though I haven't had time to draw breath or pinch myself, I have been happy - up to this evening's hiccough - with the emergent situation between Lora and I. So why am I awake at 01:30 spilling my guts to you guys?

As I lay there trying to remain optimistic about Lora and I, I couldn't get Louise out of my head :dizzy: I know I owe her nothing and she treated me badly when I was her boyfriend. And I know her baby is the joint responsibility of her and her ex-boyfriend. But I feel like I will be letting her down if I throw myself wholesale into a new relationship and forget about her as anything more than a distant friend. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only positive aspect to her otherwise grey life. Not all of the bad things of her life are of her own making.

She was born into relative poverty by UK standards. She is very bright but she hasn't received the same level of encouragement by her parents as have I. She was raped at a young age and had her knees broken by a former boyfriend. I know these things aren't my fault or my responsibility to make amends for. But, in classic male fashion, when we first got together, I thought I might be able to brighten up her life and "rescue" her. Now it feels like she's worse off than ever because she faces parenthood as a single mother. Emotionally, financially, and physically it's going to be tough on her.

There's this misplaced sense of chivalry in me that is telling me I should be at least more of a friend to Louise and do more to help her. For example, I have offered (a few weeks ago) to take her shopping for maternity wear as she cannot afford to pay for it herself. But I know that if things develop between Lora and I then nothing like that can happen. And that's what's keeping me awake. I feel like I'm at a crossroads and I'm going to have to make a conscious choice which could define mine and possibly two other people's happiness to some extent.

I've typed too much already and it probably doesn't make much sense so I think I should sleep on things. Maybe my choice will be made for me by what Lora says in response to my last message. She has sent a reply but it was a blank message... that's a new one on me.[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="DarkOrchid"]Hi all :wave:

I apologise that itís taken me so long to reply. I have been reading everybodyís replies and, if Iím honest, it is cowardice that has stopped me from responding.

A few things have happenedÖ Louise found out that her ex-boyfriend, the father of her unborn baby, cheated on her whilst they were still together and after they found out she was pregnant. This prompted her to consider a termination because she wanted nothing more to do with him. For now, at least, she says she couldnít go through with that, especially since she has seen her fully-formed baby moving on the ultrasound machine. She also has the support of her sisters, to whom I am very grateful because it has made me feel less overwhelmed by the situation.

Meanwhile, things are still developing between myself and Lora. I have been wondering whether she is genuinely interested in meeting up because she has been reluctant to commit to it. But I got her to explain her feelings last night and she basically wants to be confident that something long-term would develop before meeting up. I have assured her that I donít get into relationships lightly. I have been avoiding conversation with Louise and Iíve found myself feeling bad for talking to Lora and not her.

I know you will all say that is silly of me. Yes, Louise hurt me the first time around. And, yes, her baby is no responsibility of mine. But, purely as a friend, I donít want to hurt her. And I feel that if I tell her about Lora, it will hurt her. But I know I have to tell Louise about Lora, or else just cut all contact with her, because otherwise I will be disrespecting anything that might flourish between Lora and I. At the moment Iím just burying my head in the sand. I suppose what I really want is for things to become clearer between Lora and I.

Lora is spending a large amount of time with her ex-boyfriend. Today she says sheís going to take him clothes shopping because she wants to help him find a new girlfriend so he can be ďhappy againĒ Ė her words. I suggested to her that he wouldnít be able to find somebody new as long as they spend time together. She obviously picked up on my insecurity about the situation and told me that she has told her ex-boyfriend all about me and that it wonít ďupsetĒ her if he tells her he wants her back, because she knows she wants to be with me.

Now, Iím not the jealous type. From my point of view it does not worry me that she spends time with her ex-boyfriend. I worry for [I]him[/I] that his hopes might be dashed. But if she tells me that she wants me then thatís good enough to assure me that she wouldnít mess me around. No matter how many times Iíve been cheated on, Iím not going to become cynical. What [I]does[/I] worry me is that when we eventually get around to meeting up in person, we wonít click like we have personality-wise over the telephone.

I just want to meet Lora in person and find out whether or not thatís the case. At the moment itís becoming an increasing source of stress to me that we might be setting ourselves up for a big fall :([/COLOR][/FONT]

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