Dear Miss Emily:

O K, I’ll start off by telling you that I just had a baby 6 weeks ago, and I am thinking about ending  the relationship with my girlfriend (baby's mom). I  have been thinking about this for a while now.  I’m convinced that it's not that I feel stuck in a relationship because of the baby, but more of I’ll just be sitting around and, all of a sudden, I will not enjoy her company.  I am only 25 and would still like to date. I will not forget my son, I just can’t see myself marrying my girlfriend in the future.  I don’t know what to do or how to go about telling her how I feel – and letting down our families.  But I do feel like I am stuck, and I’m not in control of my future.  Please help me.
Not Ready for Prime Time

-------------------------Miss Emily’s advice-----------------------

Dear Not Ready:

I won’t give you the lecture that one might expect from an advice columnist – you know, the one that says you should have thought about what might happen if you didn’t use protection   But the past is now the future and your girlfriend, and the baby are in the worst possible situation.  You’ve got two people who really need your help and support, and you want to split because you think maybe, down the road, your girlfriend will become yesterday’s news. There is no easy way to make your wishes known.  Take a long look at this before you make any hasty decisions.  If you can stick around, at least until the baby is past this early stage, it would make everyone’s transition less of a nightmare. You will have bonded with the baby, and it will give you time to properly plan your next move.  These plans should include an attorney’s advice on what the court will expect you to pay to support your child.  I don’t know what state you live in but, in California, there is a formula based on income.  In other words, you have legal obligations.  In the past, you have acted like an impulsive boy and you appear to still have those tendencies.  I know you are only 25, but now is the time to look at the man whom you wish to become –  a man who accepts responsibility, does not think only of himself, and works hard to not repeat the mistakes of the past.  Walk away if you must, but make sure your ducks are in a row, or you leave a disaster in your wake, and that, my friend, is a completely selfish and rotten thing to do.  And finally, if you were this baby, how would you want your father to handle this rather unfortunate situation?