Abby: Mom worries about teen’s long-distance romance

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

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.

Far But Close in Michigan

Dear Far But Close: 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.

Dear Abby: I have been seeing this guy for nine months. We had a good relationship, but then it hit a bump in the road. He was told some false information about me, and instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt, he immediately assumed it was true. He said nasty things to me, called me horrible names, and we didn’t speak for a month. Once we came back into contact, I forgave him for falsely accusing me and put the episode behind me.

My mother is not as forgiving. She told me I can do better than him, and I should forget about him altogether. I tried to explain how I feel about him and how I want to move on from it. She hasn’t had a change of heart and says she does not approve of him. So now I sneak around with him and leave my mother out of the loop.

I want to respect her opinion, but I do not want to give up the guy I love. I don’t know what to do. Help!

Torn in Massachusetts

Dear Torn: I can’t salvage this romance and neither can you. There’s a term for people who call others “horrible names and say nasty things” to them. They are called “verbal abusers,” and the effects of what they say can be lasting. An example would be the way his accusations have affected your mother, who thinks her daughter deserves better, and your relationship with her.

Sneaking around is immature and dishonest. A guy who would help you do that is nothing to brag about. If he loved you as much as you say you love him, he would have apologized not only to you but also to your mother. If he had, she might have changed her opinion about him.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.