“I’ve been single so long, but I’ve had this “friend with benefits” I’ve been seeing three or four times a week for the past eight years. He’s a lot older than me and has a 16-year-old child – he became a dad when he was my age.”
She added: “We don’t date, watch movies or eat out, we just have great sex. He comes to mine or I go to his place. I’m happy with this and can’t think of anything worse than a full-blown relationship.”
How she said the big problem was that the father knows her father and she can’t tell anyone “as the sh** would hit the fan”.
As she faces the possibility of becoming a single mother, the woman reflected on her previous position on children.
She said: “I’ve never wanted children – I love how my life is and, deep down, I’m 99% certain of what I want to do – however I’m 35 and worried about “what ifs”.
“I’m not asking you what I should do, as I know only I can make the decision, but I’m just looking for a sounding board. I can discuss it at therapy, but I hate that I can’t talk about it with my friends or family.”
In response to her plea. Agony aunt Coleen Nolan said the woman had to recognise the potential outcomes of her situation and the possibility that the father of her child might not be that supportive.
Ms Nolan said: “I think you know that if you were to have the baby you would be a single parent because that’s the setup. There’s also every likelihood that he wouldn’t be there for you and the baby.
“Yes, people would be shocked if they found out you’d been seeing this man and that you’re pregnant, but you have to remember it’s not their life, it’s yours. You’re right – only you can make this difficult decision.”
Ms Nolan recommended that the woman should talk about it in therapy and have more sessions if she could do so. She added: “It might also help focus your mind if you write down two lists with the positives and negatives of each scenario.
“You sound quite ambitious to me and raising a child is hard, even when there are two of you doing it. You have to try to look at the bigger picture. You will reach a decision and if it’s the right decision for you, that’s what matters.”
Ms Nolan added that eight years was a very long time to have a friends-with-benefits arrangement, particularly one which has been kept hidden from friends and family.
She said it was preventing the woman from living a full life and taking opportunities that might be good for her.
Ms Nolan’s conclusion was that the woman was “scared of committing to a real relationship, which suggests past experiences have made you wary”.
She added that this would be something that could be discussed during therapy.