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Dear Demetria:

You told us to cool out before things went too far. They did, and now we’re in trouble. I got her pregnant. Now she wants me to tell her dad by myself. I’m not talking to bruh by myself. He’s a big dude, like black man from The Green Mile big. He might break my damn legs, and I need these legs. What do I do? —Anonymous

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I remember your story. You sent a query to Ask Belle about three months ago to say that you “accidentally” took your girlfriend’s virginity and she was mad.

You wrote this:

I swear it was a weird accident. My girl wants to wait until marriage. In the meantime, we do everything but penetration. Last night, we humping. I got her legs on my shoulder and I’m moving. I made a wrong move or something. The next thing I know I’m in. But not all the way in, just the tip. My girl starts screaming and punching me. She’s asking me what did I just do. She telling me I ruined her virginity and this wasn’t how she wanted to lose it. I feel like [s—t], man. Unfixable or nah? P.S.: I love her.

After a bit of back-and-forth, I learned that you were both 18 and high school seniors, and neither one of you had received a proper sex talk. Her parents are super religious and had simply admonished her not to have sex. (Dear parents: This is not effective.) They didn’t discuss with her how to manage her sexual urges, other than to pray about it.

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I—and several readers on social media—wrote in to support you after you and your girlfriend shared your story. Everyone reading had once been a sexually excited teenager, and very few of us were given the proper information about how to protect ourselves from accidental pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. We learned by trial and error. We tried to have the conversation with you and your girlfriend that we didn’t get from our parents.

We told you then that whatever you two chose to call what y’all were doing, you needed to wear a condom (or at least underwear) while doing it. We didn’t tell you not to have sex, which would have been unrealistic, since the average American loses his or her virginity at age 17. We told you how to protect yourself. We were rooting for you both, man.

Your girlfriend’s pregnancy may have you feeling as if it’s the end of the world. It isn’t. I promise. But this is a big deal. You’re scared—as you should be—and not just of your girlfriend’s father, whom you should have thought about when you weren’t using a condom. You and your girlfriend just took on a major responsibility, the magnitude of which I’m not sure you fully grasp just yet. Starting now, and for at least the next 18 years (really, for the rest of your life), you’re both in this together.

The upside of this togetherness, however, is that you’re not required to tell her father alone. I’m positive that there were two people actively involved who resulted in her pregnancy. So either both of you inform her father together, or she tells her father alone, since it’s her father.

I do suggest that you go together and let her do the talking. There’s no easy way for a teenager to inform a parent that she’s pregnant, so just get to the point: “Dad, we have something to tell you: I’m pregnant” will suffice. I can’t tell you for sure how he will react. It could be with understanding, tears or rage.

Also, while you’re worried about her dad, I’m curious about your parents. Have both of you told them that your girlfriend is pregnant by you? Because they need to know, too. You and your girlfriend may be technically legal, but you’re both in high school and living at home. This isn’t just a “you and her” issue; this is a two-family affair.

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I write this at the end of most of my answers, but I mean it more sincerely than ever right now: Good luck.

Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at askdemetria@theroot.com.

Previously in Ask Demetria: “Just Say No to Dating the Creepy ‘Friend’ Who Won’t Take No for an Answer About Sex