Life Advice



Single File: At Long Last (Sigh)

Susan Dietz on

No longer financial runners-up, women have earned the delight of replacing financial clout as a top must-have before investing serious interest in a man. Yes, I realize we're still a long way from financial wholeness, still stuck under the glass ceiling in many corporations and still earning substantially less for equal work, but our ambitions are no longer trivialized -- money matters are no longer considered a man's work. Those shifts, while not yet giving total parity in the workplace, are significant enough to bring broader horizons to the search for a love partner.

And indeed, partnership is blowing in the wind. Mr. Right today must respect the woman's individuality and actively nurture her personhood. If today's woman doesn't find a Mr. Wonderful who meets those needs, she'll stay as she is: single and optimistic. Want proof? The Census Bureau recently reported an increase in the number of Americans who have never been married. Something to think about, no?

How do I know? My nationally syndicated advice column, "Single File," has evolved into a lightning rod for the unmarried community, a hotline into the hearts and minds of those men and women who have grown to trust my words. And in the past few years, single women have been confiding their mixed feelings about marriage. As much as they want the love of a good man (and they do), they fear their hard-won undependence will be drowned in his needs when he comes along, because the only kind of loved they've seen -- most likely between their parents -- demands surrender of selfhood, and they feel they've come too far to take two steps backward, even for love.

But asking for the emotional reciprocity that gives them undependence is still difficult for most women. For too many of them, realizing they can be undependent within a loving relationship is still a major epiphany! That doesn't always mean a 50-50 split, but it does give partners equal responsibility to tend each other's needs, creating friendly feelings that are mutual and fair -- and way beyond gender roles! Who does what, in kitchen or bedroom, simply becomes less important because, above everything else, lovers are friends.


We women need to get beyond the attraction of a slouched shoulder and sexy smile. We need to find someone who feels comfortable to be with, someone who feels like a friend and ally. And don't for a moment think that means giving up sexual attraction! Sex between friends is as good as it gets because communication is free and feelings remain charged long after the loving. I wish it for you.


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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