A new relationship comes with all kinds of joyful surprises — spontaneous dates, the first kiss and little romantic gestures here and there. But, when it comes to a new relationship, an unplanned pregnancy is often the least expected — and least wanted — surprise to occur.

Finding out you are pregnant early into a relationship with someone has the potential to drastically change what you two have going, including the ability to make or break your relationship. It can be a nerve-wracking situation, but know that you are not alone in facing this challenge.

Every relationship is different, so how you and your partner address this situation will be a decision only you can make. That said, there are a few different ways your unplanned pregnancy could affect your developing relationship.

  1. It will change your current relationship.

A new relationship and an unplanned pregnancy are two things that don’t seem to go together — but when they do, it becomes a life-changing situation. It only makes sense that this will change your relationship forever, too.

An unplanned pregnancy brings with it emotions of stress, anxiety, uncertainty and even joy. You and your partner, no matter how young your relationship, will need to address these emotions to positively move forward from this challenge. Whatever decision you end up making, it’s unreasonable to assume that everything will return to the way it was. Having those expectations is not healthy and can damage your relationship.

  1. It may make your relationship stronger.

If you and your partner seriously see a future with your new relationship, an unplanned pregnancy can motivate you two to take steps to securing that future. For example, if you both wish to have a family, an unplanned pregnancy may provide the first step to a long-term commitment, whether or not you choose to get married.

Choosing to place a child for adoption or terminate a pregnancy can also make a relationship stronger. When you both have the same opinions about what to do with your unplanned pregnancy, you can take these steps together. Both of these processes come with complicated emotions, and supporting each other in a positive manner will add a depth and commitment to your relationship that wasn’t there before.

Whatever choice you make for your unplanned pregnancy, making it together will connect you and your new partner for life.

  1. Or it may be a catalyst for your relationship’s end.

However, not all couples see eye-to-eye when it comes to a new relationship and an unplanned pregnancy. If you and your new partner do not agree on which unplanned pregnancy option is right for you, it will be difficult for your new relationship to survive.

While this can be heartbreaking, it’s also an enlightening experience. You must do what is best for you when coping with an unplanned pregnancy, and an unsupportive partner can cause stress and anxiety. Ultimately, do you want to continue a relationship with someone who cannot support you in your decisions and does not share your goals?

  1. It will force you both to evaluate what you really want.

As mentioned, new relationships can easily be broken by unplanned pregnancies, simply because both partners do not agree on which steps to take. In order to determine which unplanned pregnancy option is right for you, you will need to evaluate what you really desire at this point in your life.

Do you wish to start a family with this new partner? Are you ready for that life-long commitment with them? And, if they are not ready to be a parent, do you want a family badly enough to become a single parent and break off this relationship?

An unplanned pregnancy will force you and your spouse to really consider what your goals and dreams are. You will learn whether those dreams line up and, if they don’t, you may need to reconsider whether this new relationship is the best thing for each other moving forward.

  1. It may inspire a long-term commitment.

Whatever unplanned pregnancy option you choose, choosing it together with your new partner will be a life-changing moment. While it’s common for those who choose to parent their child to get married and stay together, those who place a baby for adoption or terminate a pregnancy are also bonded for life.

Journeying through this unexpected surprise together may inspire you and your partner to recognize how important you are to each other — and make a long-term commitment to support each other through any more challenges in your lives.

If you are in a new relationship, an unplanned pregnancy may be the last thing you expect. But, it doesn’t have to be the end of something good. By supporting each other, whatever decision you make, you and your partner may find a new strength and depth in your budding relationship.

Remember, you do not have to go through this alone. There are many resources available to you, including unplanned pregnancy counseling and support groups. Consider contacting a pregnancy center today for unplanned pregnancy help and advice.