Life Advice



Single File: Clutter

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: You write about clutter in our lives. Clutter people, things, projects. Isn't that a bit cruel?

DEAR BLOGGER: (Sigh.) There are times in life -- single life, especially -- you must be "cruel" to be kind to yourself. The "c" word is in quotes because I really don't believe it's cruelty. The thing is there is only so much time in your...Read more

Single File: Celebrate Your Singleness

Life Advice / Single File /

Sounds a bit corny celebrating your own unmarried state, but trust me not to burden you with same-old, same-old stuff. We may not always agree on things, you and moi, but it's a safe bet we'll learn something from each other most of the time. Take, for example, trumpeting your own singleness. At first reading, it may sound like outsize weirdity ...Read more

Single File: That Age Thing, Reversed

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: Here's the thing about older women with younger lovers: He's as much a predator as she is! He wants her to teach him the ways of sex. He wants her to teach him what a younger woman probably can't. But then, when he's learned her sexual technique, he most likely will go on to marry someone more appropriate -- a younger woman. So, ...Read more

Single File: Unavailable

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: I agree with your reader that idealizing and pining for an unavailable someone is the time-honored way to avoid having to face one's own fears of falling in love. But why do we do that?

DEAR BLOGGER: Every problem forces a choice between tackling it head-on or telling ourselves it doesn't exist (aka deluding ourselves into thinking ...Read more

Single File: Gaspworthy

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: Maybe I've mistaken the point of "Single File" -- which I imagined was about people who are single, not in a long-term, committed relationship! In the past, I've commented on your blog that you seem hung up on the notion that most people "lose themselves" when they enter a relationship. Some certainly do, but just as many do not. I ...Read more

Single File: Love As Catalyst

Life Advice / Single File /

Once we fall in love, we tend to believe it's that other person, our beloved, who makes us feel complete because he or she fills in the element that was missing while we hungered for love. We tend to look for the man who makes us feel like a "real woman" at the zenith of our femininity.

If that sounds (all too) familiar, it's time to clear up ...Read more

Single File: Wondering

Life Advice / Single File /

Even if you yourself are snugly married, you probably have many single friends who love to pass along their tales of woe, stories of meeting and greeting the undead at bars, and contrived single minglings. The honest ones will admit being relieved when they go home alone, kicking off their shoes and dropping into a warm bed. Their lips are still...Read more

Single File: Bed Gratitude

Life Advice / Single File /

Her phone call startled me. The distraught woman on the other end spoke in rapid-fire sentences, most of them half-finished. Every word was confused, jumbled. But after some time, it became clear that her husband of 30 years was leaving the marriage. He wanted to live alone. In a way, he had already gone; they hadn't had sex in a year, and the ...Read more

Single File: Friendship With Benefits

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: There's something between casual sex and sex between committed partners. I don't know what to call it, but I do know it exists. I read that the French have a term for it: "less than lovers, more than friends." It's certainly possible for two people who care about each other as friends to have a sexual relationship. Neither partner is...Read more

Single File: Rubber Banded

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: About the man you dated who kept a thick rubber band around his wallet. It dates back to an old law enforcement trick: It makes picking the wallet from a pocket much more difficult, if not impossible. Being someone who secures his money tightly, I am usually the first to grab a check, to never hesitate to pay and to pay for a date (...Read more

Single File: Love Addiction

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: You write about love addiction as if it's a bad thing to be in love. What is it, and is it so very bad?

DEAR BLOGGER: Being in love is wonderful: exalting, mellowing, shifting one's entire outlook on life into Upbeat and Forgiving. How could something that good be bad? The thing is, though, I'm not talking about love when I put the ...Read more

Single File: What? Me Marry?

Life Advice / Single File /

Yes. You! It just might happen that you meet someone you can't get out of your mind, a Wonderful One whose chemistry seems to mesh perfectly with yours. The mere thought of the person makes you grin with a happy secret between you and ... well, you. In other words, for the very first time in a long time, you're floored. And private time spent ...Read more

Single File: Old Maidism - A (Gentle) Rant

Life Advice / Single File /

This is definitely equal-opportunity advice, since thinking/acting like an old maid is a personality trait that can be acquired by either gender. You're familiar with the signs: Rigidity with a capital R, dogmatic refusal to consider another solution to a problem. Simply put, it's their way or the highway. Sometimes it takes some time to ...Read more


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