Ask Abbie: Be alert to caution signs in race of love

Published 1:28 pm Saturday, December 7, 2013

Question: I have been with my girlfriend for over a year. She is the woman of my dreams. We tell each other we love one another. I see her almost every day and sometimes she gives me a hard time for wanting to see her so much. Her friends wish they had a guy like me and she complains that her last boyfriend did not spend enough time with her, but it seems I can’t win. On the very rare occasion I do something that does not involve her she gives off “a little tension.” What do I do?

Answer: CAUTION! You see a yellow flag waving in the distance and it reads “a little tension.” Let off the gas pedal, SLOW DOWN, and stay behind the pace car until the flag returns to green.

When the race of dating your girlfriend began, you were both seated behind the wheel of two separate cars positioned at the start line. The cars you were driving represented your hearts. If you wanted to start the race, forward was the only way to go, so you decided to have your first date. As you continued to date, or drive behind the wheel of your heart, you progressed further along in the race.

Eventually you found yourselves at an intersection with four different roads, and you were forced to choose. At the end of each was a prize, one half of a trophy cup. The other half needed to complete the prize had to be earned by another driver who selected the same course, as did you. The four routes were clearly marked: “marriage,” “long-term-one-on-one relationship with no marriage,” “friendship/companionship only” and “I’m not sure.”

You and your girlfriend made your individual selections and once again set forth to guide your cars, or hearts, with focus. For you the choice was easy and you sped off with anticipation. You remained undistracted until off in the distance you saw a caution flag being waved. Fearful for your girlfriend’s safety you looked out your windows and checked your mirrors to locate her. You knew she must have chosen your same route, but where was she? She was certainly not by your side or anywhere to be seen. Your mind began to wander.

Could she have selected a different course? Could she have received some bad fuel and become sluggish as a result? Is it possible that she was still at the crossroads where she was able to pull over, get a cup of coffee and be content for a very long time? As you approached the caution flag you became able to read the words “A Little Tension” that were written across its yellow surface. What could it mean? Let this analogy serve as an actual warning for your current dilemma.

Since you are able to see the “A Little Tension” caution flag before your girlfriend, she is not running side by side with you at this moment. Perhaps her car, or heart, is still letting off so much smoke from the recently extinguished fire of her last relationship that her vision has become clouded as she looks ahead to the future. Regardless of the many possible reasons for your inability to locate her in your mirrors or out of your windows, it is time for you to make certain you both are on the same course. If not, there will be many hours wasted and much frustration accumulated as you wait for her at the finish line holding your half of the trophy.

Should you weary of waiting for her at the end of the race, tuck your half-prize under your arm and head home. Set your prize on the mantel. When you get tired of coming home to a lonely space filled only by your incomplete trophy cup, it is time pick it up, dust it off, and return to the finish line where you received it. There are many beautiful hearts off in the distance running your same course just waiting to round the bend and come into your sight. One of those drivers will be the one who earns the other half of the prize needed to complete yours and who will walk with you into the winner’s circle of love, a circle with the inherent characteristic of being without end.

ABBIE LONG is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to