Life Advice



Single File: You and Change

Susan Dietz on

You probably know that the Chinese word for "crisis" is composed of the characters for "danger" and "opportunity." Sure, there's danger being an unattached woman. At times, panic and depression creep in, too. But there's also an opportunity that generations of women longed for: the chance to cultivate lifelong self-reliance. When those low moments creep in -- and they do no matter what -- turn your thoughts to that unbelievably huge plus given our generations. And do your best to get on good terms with change. I promise it will bring pleasant surprises: You'll start enjoying your dates more. You'll stop faking a smile and forcing yourself to pay attention to the conversation. Instead, you'll find yourself feeling a little closer to him because you're feeling closer to yourself! And -- shock of shocks -- being husbandless will start to feel less like a drawback. In fact, you'll actually find yourself having moments when you relish your unencumbered state! And -- surprise of surprises -- you'll have more energy, more curiosity, more of an appetite for new places and new people. These are exciting times for women (aka Hillary Clinton). Who knows what's in store for us?

Here's an idea for this very weekend: Take your parents out to dinner. Yes, it will help them see your undependence. But it will also help you leave your childhood, when you saw them as perfect, behind and help the three of you ease into a more realistic relationship. And they will positively relish being given the royal treatment by their woman of the year!

Oh, one more thing before you finish reading "Single File" today. The very next time you find yourself with a married couple, make it a point to deliberately study them close up, without, of course, making them uncomfortable. Your mission? Notice small things about their relationship to each other, their voice inflections, their gestures, their hand holding (or not), their gentle touching (or not). The point, friend, isn't at all to convince yourself that singleness is better but to convince yourself that marriage is no bed of roses either. This close-up is meant to be proof positive that life is so very much determined by you and what you contribute to it. Married, single, with or without a partner, part and apart, in and out of love/infatuation/whatever, you are the constant. So much of what you get from your existence is derived from what you give to it.




We've uncovered another treasure trove of "Single File" paperbacks -- in perfect condition, signed by Susan, ready to enjoy. Send $15 and your address: Susan Deitz, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at




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