Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Chairman of the Board

Life Advice / Single File /

Agreed, the month of May is the usual time for tributes to moms' indispensable role. But mine is an off-season paean to those women who -- by some inscrutable twist of fate -- find themselves Chairman of the Board, responsible for every decision in their husbandless household. Why now, and why them? Because while motherhood is sacred in America,...Read more

Single File: Reader Mail

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: Hopefully by now you've gotten some email in support of your position on the engagement ring issue. This widely and fervently held and programmed belief is just one more symptom of the stranglehold marketing has on our culture, overriding all. -- Mike

DEAR MIKE: You and I may be the only humanoids on planet Earth who see the ring ...Read more

Father as Co-Nurturer

Life Advice / Single File /

You and I live in interesting times, which, according to ancient Chinese wisdom, equates with being accursed. But womanly intuition prods me (ever so gently) to believe those wise men might well reconsider after learning the supersized changes in our species' parenting roles. Women are released from their household universe and finding ...Read more

Single File: Reader's Choice

Life Advice / Single File /

For the curious, my life's work found me. Catapulted overnight (literally) into young widowhood, and with a very young son to nurture, I quickly realized how unprepared I was for life on my own. (Smith College doesn't educate to be Head of Household.) Every day was a challenge; some I met adequately, some not so well. But slowly and painfully, I...Read more

Mr. Mom

Life Advice / Single File /

And why not? Why can't a nurturing father share parenting or be equally allowed to parent his child? Before you come down on one side of the issue, give the following letter room to make a dent in your preconception of male parenting. Ready? Deep breath, generous exhale.

DEAR SUSAN: I'm not quite sure when I got this vision that I wanted to be ...Read more

A New Language

Life Advice / Single File /

You don't have to be single to be shy, but it's more likely when your way of life pushes you to meet new people and make entrances ... solo. That's why it's so important to learn the language of SMALL TALK. (It merits capitals because it's not so easy to learn.) Truth is it's a totally new language for those of us who never inherited the gift of...Read more

Sexual Bill of Rights

Life Advice / Single File /

Sexual/sensual expression is important to mental and physical well-being. Let's agree on that. And being unmarried, you also know how important it is for your satisfaction to feel a partner's caring. The truth is sexual union has the potential to be spiritual communion when it joins soul mates. But it takes a bit of doing for the unmarried to ...Read more

Online Dating -- Facts

Life Advice / Single File /

A reader (bless her!) has passed along practical tips for your online hunt (that's what it is, no?) for a friend/lover/life partner. And, believe me, yours truly is paying close attention -- very close indeed:

CHOOSE A DATING WEBSITE: It's a good idea to try more than one because they vary so much in the number of members in your area, as well ...Read more

The Sexual Bill of Rights

Life Advice / Single File /

Realizing that sex is an integral dimension of well-being, I will incorporate sexual fulfillment into my singleness in ways that mesh with my personal morality.

Being of adult age and with a reasonable amount of life experience, I will aim toward being both sexual and autonomous, assuming full responsibility for my decisions.

I will adopt a ...Read more

The Sincerest Remembrance

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: I find myself in an unbelievable situation. My fiance died three months ago after a long battle with cancer. Six week later, his best friend's wife died after her own fight with the same kind of cancer. That friend was wonderfully supportive of me during my fiance's illness, phoning me every day and continuing to call to see how I ...Read more

Mirage for 2

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: I've been writing to a man on an online dating service for four months. We're both single, and he seems to know I'm hung up on him. But now he says he doesn't want to write to me as often as before. He says writing to me isn't fun anymore! What can I do to let him know how much I care for him? -- Clara

DEAR CLARA: Four months does ...Read more

Why Not Marry?

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: My mother and I have talked over the same question you asked today. And here's what I've come up with:

No. 1: MARRIAGE IS HARD TO GET OUT OF. I grew up thinking my father paid so little attention to my mother she might as well be single. And yet she was stuck -- unhappy, neglected, unwilling to divorce on moral grounds, maybe even...Read more

True and (Sometimes) False

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: Your "true or false" quiz really has me thinking!

You ask us to respond to the statement "Men and women cannot be friends; they're too dissimilar." I find that to be both true and false. Men I've already had a relationship with can continue our friendship but at arm's length. The emotional closeness I feel with female friends simply...Read more

 

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