DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old girl who has been in a long-distance relationship for two years. We’re still in high school and actively involved in sports and extracurricular activities. During the fall months I cheer, and in the winter months he plays basketball. Our schedules only really allow for texting and FaceTiming rather than going out.
Although our time is spent communicating on the phone, I feel we have a strong connection, and I am devoted to him. However, my mom is concerned “because I’m not dating and taking advantage of opportunities that could come with dating someone closer.” She criticizes him nonstop and thinks he’s making excuses and avoiding a commitment. She’d like to see me going out and having fun with someone like most girls my age do.
I don’t think he’s making excuses, and I don’t feel as though I’m missing out on any opportunities. This disagreement is causing an issue between my mom and me. I feel that he’s The One, but Mom is finding it challenging to accept this. I would love to hear your advice.
— Fare, but close, in Michigan
DEAR F. BUT C.: You may feel that this young man is “The One”, but your mother has a point. Please listen to her. Rather than sit home every night because you are devoted only to him, you should socialize and develop non-romantic relationships. It wouldn’t be betraying him. Most young people go out in groups, and that’s what you should be doing. This may be what your mother is trying to convey rather than saying he isn’t The One.
Also, you and this young man have years of education to complete before you’ll be in a position to formalize your relationship. While you are doing that, both of you will meet new people and be offered opportunities that may broaden your horizons. Think about it.
DEAR ABBY: For the past two years, my husband, “Dennis,” has worked Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. He’s in a business where he doesn’t have to be the only one to work these holidays. He volunteers to do it because of the tips and holiday pay. When I walked into the office today, I saw a note he had written to his boss asking to work both holidays again.
Years ago when my father was alive, he hosted Christmas Eve for our family. Then the tradition was handed down to me, and I proudly hosted them. Now that Dennis and I are together, our place is too small, so I asked my son to do it and he gladly agreed.
My problem is, I will have to go to my son’s alone again for Christmas Eve, and my son and daughter-in-law feel insulted because Dennis won’t come for the holidays. How do I deal with this?
— Husbandless for the Holidays again
DEAR HUSBANDLESS: It appears you and Dennis have been married only a short time. Was he like this when you were dating? If the answer is no, it’s time to ask him if he intends to continue working holidays indefinitely. And when you do, let him know that his refusal to spend family time with your son and daughter-in-law hurts their feelings as well as yours.
If that doesn’t convince him to compromise, you will have to explain to your son and his wife that Dennis prefers to work rather than attend holiday celebrations and to please not take it personally because it’s not personal.