Life Advice



Single File: Best Single Cities

Life Advice / Single File /

According to census data, the median age for an individual's first marriage has been steadily increasing over time. In 2018, the median age for a first marriage in the United States was nearly 30 for men and 28 for women, up from 23 for men and 21 for women in 1970.

In addition to putting off marriage, millennials are also more likely to be ...Read more

Single File: The Two I's or Intimacy vs. Individuality (a little bit more)

Life Advice / Single File /

Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted by those seven days? Oh, I remember now. You were feeling impatient with the waiting game and ready (almost) to make something happen now, soon, even though the love of your life isn't (yet) on the scene! The way I see it, passivity is no longer your style. You've been feeding yourself, a ...Read more

Social Graces: How to figure out if you're on a date and not a hangout

Life Advice / Single File /

Q: You're meeting someone you're interested in for drinks, but you're not sure if it's a date. How should you proceed?

A: If you're out for drinks with someone and you're not sure if it's a date, I'm all for being direct and asking if it's a date.

But how you ask is important. Be a little flirty, not just at the end of the night but ...Read more

Single File: The Two I's or Intimacy vs. Individuality

Life Advice / Single File /

Intimacy versus individuality sounds like a choice ... as if maybe you will find one or the other in your love life, but you know for sure you can't have both of them in the same relationship! That's the (yawn) fiction that's been circling the single world for generations. But the truth is not only is it possible for the same relationship to ...Read more

Single File: Father as Mother

Life Advice / Single File /

A recent letter in this column has stirred up a virtual hornet's nest. It comes from a 30-something man who -- vigorously and rather unpleasantly -- stakes claim to nearly all parenting rights and privileges in his (hypothetical) marriage. At the moment, he's neither husband nor parent. But he has thought through the battles he'd wage. Example: ...Read more

Single File: Love Partnership (Continued)

Life Advice / Single File /

I read in women's letters the signs of their struggle to find an answer to their quandary. The feeders of the race, the gender asked to nurture those around them, women today are asking for -- no, insisting on -- emotional reciprocity. At the same time they confide in me their fears, they insist they will not settle for less than partnership in ...Read more

Single File: Love Partnership

Life Advice / Single File /

The days are gone when women made financial clout the top requisite for serious interest in a man. No longer economically second-class (if not financially whole, or at least with more earning potential -- and hope -- than before), women are asking something different from men. They are beginning to insist that their love object actively nurture ...Read more

Single File: 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


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