DEAR SUSAN: Responding to your recent survey:
-- How late in the week can a man call you for a date? ANS: Whenever he wants to, provided he doesn't show up at my doorstep unannounced! If I'm busy, I'll say so. If not, I'm happy to accept his invitation.
-- Do you think he respects you more if you set a deadline? ANS: No. Deadlines are for the business world, and dating is part of my personal life, not my business. Besides, I wouldn't like him to dictate deadlines or procedures to me! In my opinion, a deadline is simply a bogus excuse not to see the guy. I'd much rather turn him down honestly. Fact is, guys, if she's into you, she'll blow off other things so she can spend time with you, and if she's not, she'll torture you by making you jump through hoops. Which do you prefer?
-- Does your deadline change if you really want to see him? ANS: I don't have a deadline in my personal life. I've been known to blow off other projects (and people) if I'm trying to get close to the Number One in my life. (Still, I don't keep my schedule open, hoping he'll see fit to take up all my time.)
--Do you respect yourself more if you have a set deadline? ANS: Not at all. If my self-respect were tied to my ability to manipulate men, forcing one to go the extra mile might feel good, but it has more to do with my pants size, my income and how quickly I can shred guitar scales. If anything, I'd respect myself less if I thought so little of myself I must resort to lying to turn down someone I didn't want to date. -- Caitlin from Long Island
DEAR READERS: The honesty of these responses makes me want to applaud. But you may not agree, so consider this an open-ended invitation to talk about arbitrary deadlines, mind games and any other silliness that's taken hold in the world of dating. This is the corner of singledom where you can freely vent your spleen -- male or female! (Do you feel for the man -- as I do -- who's turned down because his call came past the deadline?) Some day, ladies, in the not-so-distant future, you may be the caller! The pool of eligible men is not what it once was. And even the good guys think differently these days -- about love and commitment and all that stuff we femmes dream about. My advice? Forget the rules and the deadlines! Find yourself a good person to partner with, a true friend who kisses well. Friendship has a long shelf life.
The point of all this? It's in our hands, sisters. We better realize (and soon) that friendship and respect is the winning combination, the stuff of lasting love. Any questions?
Write for your free signed copy of Susan's "Declaration of Undependence" on parchment. Send your request to: Susan Deitz, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.