Dear Rene:

Oh where to start? My best friend is pregnant by a guy I think she should have never dated. When she first found out, she was trying to do something new and not drop kick him as soon as he showed signs of being a problem. I was completely behind that, but now she’s pregnant and unemployed. She has to move out of her house and make a million other concessions to have this child. She’s at a point where she can still terminate the pregnancy, but she is going full steam ahead. Should I gently remind her of how hard things are going to be for her being pregnant and alone since they broke up or should I just let her and her man eventually work things out?

Baffled in Baltimore


Dear Baffled:

Yes. To your last answer. I’ve been on this planet almost a half century and daily I’m stunned by the numbers of people who think it’s okay to offer their unsolicited advice about any and everything. When are people gonna learn to butt out? And this involves your friend’s dating life so you REALLY need to back away. Here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes.

BE CAREFUL: I truly believe, in instances like this, people know what time it is they just choose to ignore it. Your friend knows, she alluded to it by saying she was going to try something different by sticking with this dude. Well now she’s pregnant (and sorry, rarely do people get pregnant by accident in this day and age) and, instead of doing what she knows is best (getting rid of the loser) she’s consumed by what people will think (ugh, see Ten from GEM). What that means is that she is going to compound one “mistake” with another by staying with him. Now, you trashing this guy at every turn is not going to make her see the light any faster, in fact, it may have the opposite effect, so if I were you I would smile politely when she complains and don’t offer unsolicited advice.

BE COMPASSIONATE: This might be the hardest thing for you to do given how you felt about the cad in the first place. But I think there would be a lot less strife in the world if more people practiced The Golden Rule. Remember what that is? To treat others as you would like to be treated. So imagine if the shoe were on the other foot and it was you, pregnant, homeless and scared. Wouldn’t you want your best friend to open the door and her arms and accept her without judging? This is not the time to make your point about how smart you are and you knew it all along. This is a time to be a true friend. And when you have the urge to say, “I told you so” shut up about it. The last thing she needs to hear is you talking about how you knew all along it was going to turn out badly. 

BE FIRM:  Being compassionate doesn’t mean being a lackey. Make sure she understands that while you are there to help her through this rough time, you won’t co-sign on to any foolishness with the baby’s dad.  If she decides to go  back to him (and then back to you and then back to him and so on) that’s on her but you need to make it clear there is a limit to your friendship and her treating your place like a Motel 6, is not a part of that deal.

While I’m telling you to mind your own business I will say this; if for some reason you feel your friend is in physical danger, then all bets are off. Do what you have to do, including risking her ire, to make sure she, and her baby, are safe.

Good luck!

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