How To Tell Your Boyfriend You’re Pregnant Unplanned (11 Simple Ways)

There you are in your bathroom with two pink lines confirming what you’ve been suspecting in the past few weeks – it’s not just a scare, you are definitely pregnant. This wasn’t the plan if ever there you had one regarding having kids.

Amidst the myriad of questions and emotions that would have flooded you by now, this particular one stands out, “How would my partner take it?” The pregnancy tests don’t just turn positive out of the blue, so those lines staring back at you mean something has been going on in your body for a minute now.

Yet, being unequivocally faced with the reality of a surprise pregnancy changes things. It makes all your fears and anxiety of the past weeks more… real. Unlike the father, whose horse doesn’t enter the race until he’s made aware, you also have the responsibility of sharing the big news.

Now I get how informing your boyfriend or husband about an unplanned pregnancy can be a difficult conversation. But take support in, first, the fact that you are one of nearly half of all pregnant women in the U.S. – almost three million of them, in your exact situation. And second, the following tips.

11 Ways To Tell Your Partner About An Unplanned Pregnancy

1. Confirm you are pregnant

Depending on the state of your relationship and proximity to the potential baby daddy, he may have sensed something in the weeks preceding the positive pregnancy test. But whether or not he is in on the scare, it is always a good idea to be sure before telling him that you are.

The best way to be 100% certain is to check with a doctor, of course. But if you are going with home tests, make sure to try multiple sticks, at least to cut down the chances of false positives.

2. Sooner is better than later

Once they find out they are pregnant, many women opt to wait until they are out of the woods before sharing the news. (When the fetus is in less danger of a miscarriage after they’ve been able to gather their thoughts, etc.)

While that is okay with friends and family, it shouldn’t extend to the father, and that being unplanned makes it even more necessary to tell him right away. If you two are close, say the guy in the question is your husband or boyfriend, not just in name only, let him hold your hand as you pee on the sticks.

As you both watch the lines emerge, you can go through your initial emotions together instead of dealing with it all on your own.

3. Practice

Unfortunately, not every case of unplanned pregnancy happens in the comfort of a healthy relationship or marriage. If you don’t have the privilege of holding hands with the father as you go through the stages leading up to a positive pregnancy test, you may need to mull things over a bit first.

Given this conversation is one of the most serious you’ll ever have in your relationship, take a moment to think about what you’ll say and how you’re going to do it. If it helps, you can let a close friend or family member in on it first for ideas and support.

4. Have the conversation in person, if possible

have the conversation in person if possible

After getting your thoughts in order, the next step should be figuring out how to broach the subject. It may seem easier to do it over the phone, but you’ll get more if you do it face-to-face. Little details like tone, facial expressions, and other vital body language cues you definitely want to see tend to get lost in impersonal communication forms like texting.

So, if it’s possible to meet and talk (he doesn’t live thousands of miles away, he’s not abusive or in a coma), it’s always better to do so.

5. Pick a private, comfortable setting

If doing it over the phone is not the only viable option in your situation, your next decision should be the where. Ideally, conversations like this should hold in a place where you both feel most comfortable, for most couples, that’s home.

If you’re not yet married or cohabiting, you can have the chat at your place or his, whichever one affords you the required privacy. You know your partner better than I do, so if you have reason to believe his reaction might be unsafe for you if you’re alone, have someone hang around just in case.

6. Stick with the facts

Once you get past the how and when and finally comes the time to talk, the best way to do it is to be straightforward. There is no reason to beat around the bush or use tact like you would with a breakup. The fact is that you have this man’s child growing inside you, and that’s exactly what you should say.

If you took at-home tests, tell him, if you went to the doctors, say that, just make sure he gets the message that you are pregnant. You can even show him the test result or a picture of the pink lines to let him know this isn’t a stunt.

7. Allow his initial reaction

From the first time the possibility of being pregnant popped in your head to this present moment, you have had some time to confirm and process this huge news. On the other hand, it will only just be hitting your partner as you pass the information across, so I wouldn’t expect him to take it as well right away.

His reaction may be anything between shock, fright, and joy, he may freak out, stare at you in silent confusion or show a mix of all emotions, let him have it. Whether or not you’ve been able to make your decision (to keep the baby or not), you’ve had some time to stomach this, pun intended, he hasn’t.

This is why it’s advisable to let the cat out of the bag as early as possible. So even if you both don’t find out at the same time, you won’t at least be so far ahead of him that you can’t go through the shock stage together. Which is obviously to be expected with unplanned pregnancies.

8. Gauge his readiness for further discussion

gauge his readiness for further discussion

The other reason you should let him have this first reaction, besides being the fair thing to do, is that it helps you make your next decision right at the moment. I mean, if someone walks into a conversation with zero plans to have a child and then learns they have one on the way, they are bound to give some emotions away.

This reaction will help inform what you do next, whether he is in the right headspace to continue the discussion or to give him some time. In most cases, the latter is often the case.

9. Explore the questions with him

Once the cat is out of the bag and you’ve both had a minute to process, it’s time to ask each other the real questions and let out your individual worries. Where do you go from here? Can your relationship survive the rigors of an unplanned pregnancy?

What are you most worried about, what is he? What options are you willing to explore, and what implications might they have on you as individuals and as a couple? Are you ready to become parents? Letting these fears out tells you both where the other stands, so you can work on riding out the ensuing rollercoaster together. Or not.

10. Be open and honest about your feelings and encourage him to do the same

While you have this talk, it’s important that you are both on the same page on the need for honesty. Even couples who planned to get pregnant have their hands full being parents, let alone those who had a child almost dropped into their laps.

Likewise, you don’t want to be pushed to make the wrong decision because you think your partner is thinking what he isn’t. Let him know there’s no need to sugarcoat things at this point and be totally honest with yourself as well.

Answer the above questions honestly and let each other know what you are feeling at the moment. And if it changes, make it known as well.

11. Arrive at the big decision together, if possible

Then comes the high point of the whole conversation, “What do we do?” As the person with the most skin in the game, being the one with the womb, the choice is ultimately yours. 

Nonetheless, your man also deserves to be carried along, given half of that child’s genetic makeup is his. So, talk things through together, even if one of you wants to keep the baby while the other doesn’t. While it’s best that you end up on the same page, you should also prepare for the possibility that you may not. 


Do unplanned pregnancies ruin relationships?

Stressors can test a relationship, and an unplanned pregnancy is a huge one. Besides the sheer toll having a surprise kid (or not) takes on everything, there’s also the blame game. Couples may end up resenting each other for being forced to choose between options they were never ready to face.

How do I break the pregnancy news to my boyfriend?

It depends on whether or not it’s an expected pregnancy. If you two have been trying to get pregnant, then you are certain of how your boyfriend will receive the news and can get creative with the delivery. But if it’s unplanned, you want to give it to him straight as early as possible in a private, comfortable setting so you can discuss the next steps.

How do guys feel about an unplanned pregnancy?

Probably the same way you feel as a woman with every symptom you see that tips the scale of your pregnancy scare to the real thing. Anxiety, shock, fright, excitement, and denial are some common emotions people generally feel when they find out they’re going to be parents out of the blue.

How long should you wait to tell your partner you’re pregnant?

Pregnancy is an incredibly personal journey, and ultimately, each woman should do what is best for her. Some women need time to come to terms with being pregnant and what to do about it before sharing the news, even with the father. In comparison, others opt to tell their partner right away so they can both weigh in on the way forward.

Do guys change after the baby is born?

Becoming parents affects people differently. Spending time with the baby and his partner may trigger a man’s paternal hormones and make him more responsible. Or the changes that come with the child’s arrival may be so overwhelming it pushes him to react negatively.

In Conclusion

Given how big a subject telling the father is, I hope this piece does some to help you navigate the inevitable emotional rollercoaster that comes with a surprise pregnancy. Remember, letting him know is the right thing to do but ultimately, your body, your choice. Been in this situation before? How did you manage the talk? 

Share your experience and thoughts on this list in the comments and also share the post. You never know who else needs it.

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