I am thirty years old. A month ago I reconnected with my first girlfriend, who lives in another city. She has two children with an unmarried partner, but six years ago that relationship began to fall apart when her first child was born. Then he was unfaithful to her while she was pregnant with her second child. I remained single, not having heard anything about her for the past ten years. I thought that I no longer cared about her; but when we got together, both of us were nervous and anxious to see each other.

We realized that we still have the old feelings for each other. It’s as if the past ten years never happened. Now I don’t know what to do. I think I still love her.

Dear Friend,

It is always nice to reconnect with a friend with whom we had lost contact. That person reminds us of old times, when life seemed much less complicated. We were younger then, and looked forward to what life would bring. There are songs from that period of our lives that are fun to hear again, and even smells that can suddenly remind us of foods we loved to eat. Nostalgia makes everything seem better, sweeter, and more colorful.

You loved the girl you knew back then. But she is no longer the girl you knew then; she is a woman that you barely know now. In the way you told us about her, you emphasized the fact that her partner cheated on her, as if that is the most important part of the story. You glossed over the fact that she chose to live with the man without being married. And unless you just forgot to mention a breakup, she is still living with that man, possibly for economic reasons. In your fantasy, you may imagine yourself as the knight in shining armor who will rescue her and her children from the unfaithful boyfriend. He is still, however, the father of the children. So in reality, the woman will continue to have to deal with him until the children are fully grown.

Does your fantasy include the issues of becoming an instant stepfather, or the resentment that the children may feel toward you since they may perceive that you were responsible for breaking up their family? Does your fantasy include you becoming financially responsible for the children if their biological father manages to avoid paying child support? Does your fantasy include a life with the woman even though she is constantly distracted by the needs of her children?

If you insist on following through with such a fantasy, there are steps that must be followed. First, you need to have a relationship of at least a year during which you can get to know the woman as she is now. This is impossible if she is still living with the boyfriend, so she must move out and live on her own or with her family. Next, she must use whatever legal system you have in your country to get child support and a custody agreement in place. Keep in mind that it is very likely that the custody agreement will prevent her from moving away from the city where her boyfriend lives.

If you still believe that you love the woman after the year is passed, and you want to become a loving stepfather to her children, then you can consider asking her to marry you. However, under no circumstances should you have a sexual relationship with her until after you are married.

There are so many potential problems to be overcome and decisions to be made that you will need the supernatural wisdom that only comes from God. Ask Him to forgive your sins (everyone of us has sinned)(1) and to be your best Friend. As you develop a personal relationship with God and live by the principles of the Bible, He will guide your steps and give you the wisdom that you need.

We wish you well,

1 Ro 3:23