DEAR SUSAN: My fiance and I are separated but still see each other occasionally. I saw he was losing interest, so I separated to work on our issues, and that experience fits into your recent questions. I began seeing a therapist to deal with the stress of the situation and discovered I was being too nice and needed to be more "unavailable."
It's fun time -- tickle time for the brain. Yep, this is another chance to peer inside and come up with the truth. Your truth! The questions -- and the responses to them -- are for your eyes only; there's no editor on the case, no second chance to revise your answer, no eraser in sight. First response, best response!
Mark whether you agree or ...Read more
DEAR SUSAN: This is one woman's comments on the 31-year-old man (who has never been married and is successful professionally) with a puzzling situation. He wrote for your opinion because the woman he's dating has a young child and complains that he puts his friends and freedom first.
I feel I must weigh in on this matter. I think he should put ...Read more
So many men suffer from shyness. It fills their letters as they describe stirrings that must lie dormant, unexpressed and waiting for inspiration. The fear of being laughed at, taken for a fool -- or, worse, being ignored and unseen -- is keeping them parched and mute.
A love song of appreciation might go far to soothe their frustration, and ...Read more
--Take it from me, ladies: Men don't want to be our saviors. In this wildly changing world, where the unpredictable is a daily occurrence, no man -- not even a big hunk with a bigger ego -- has time (or energy) for a cloying, clinging femme. Let's face it. To be a needy female is to be a relic, out of step with today's love-style. And the few ...Read more
The days are waning when women make financial clout the main prerequisite for serious interest in a man. No longer economically second-class (if not financially whole, at least with more earning potential and hope than ever), women are asking something different from men. They're insisting that their love object recognize and actively nurture ...Read more
Let's say -- for argument's sake -- you're currently in a romantic relationship but a bit (or more than a bit) unsure about continuing it into the new year. You two made it through the holidays in survival mode, but now the togetherness is running on empty, at times not at all the "real thing" you dream of. Yet there's still the tug of the ...Read more
Love -- the real deal -- can exist only between lovers who are whole and distinct individuals capable of standing alone, apart from their beloved. My word for that state is undependence. Learning to be alone, then, is cultivating that ability in preparation for love partnership; there is no other way to start the process of creating personhood. ...Read more
As regular readers know, that's no typo. "Undependence" is my word for wholeness, the ability to be comfortably alone with oneself -- not all the time and not as a way of life but definitely when the alternative is boring or disagreeable company. But this society feels uncomfortable when we're not paired off two by two, because it sees aloneness...Read more
Yes, singleness gives the power of being in charge of your life, but what about the sadness that we often feel? How do you explain it?
Being in total control of your life is the positive side of single life, but the flip side is there, too -- a sad, gnawing realization that you're on your own. Onlyness, I call it. But -- you suspected this was ...Read more
Today's "Single File" column could be headlined "Looking Back," "Looking Ahead" or "Looking Within." Today's piece marks "Single File's" 40th year in newsprint, so all three apply. Because the column is inextricably bound to the lives of the unmarried in this country, this columnist sees its past, present and future as being tightly linked to ...Read more
DEAR SUSAN: Want to know what hell is? Hell is when your blind date shows up and your mother can barely croak your name when she calls you, as she's almost doubled up with laughter. Picture a man who is 7 feet tall and wearing a raincoat loosely belted -- under his armpits! Tall is OK, I guess, but a head the size of a walnut was a real ...Read more
Love is not social work. Yes, I've said it before, but given more space and newsprint, let's really dig into the concept. All of us have at some point met someone who shakes our universe but comes with a lot of baggage. To be kind, let's call them issues. We brush aside friends' warnings -- and our own viscera -- to help this deserving person ...Read more