Life Advice



Single File: Summer Tips

Susan Dietz on

Ask yourself when love comes to a halt: What now, what can I do to nourish myself, to fill the emptiness? Has my life changed so totally that I need to figure things out again? Or is there something I postponed for the sake of being coupled? And is this the perfect time to get it done, no excuses accepted? But for the next romantic go-round, am I a little wiser? Maybe I expected too much from them -- and from myself. And here's the killer: Did I expect too much from love itself?(!) Oh, my friend, only you know the answer to that.

Next time you're at a playground, stop and take a look -- a close look -- at the children playing. The way I see it, they're the model of true single fulfillment: living in the present moment, totally engrossed. Remember them as you work toward whatever it is you want from your life, because they are the ideal, not a bit self-conscious that they're solo. They are who they are, and they came to be part of what's going on. It seems to me that's the only commonality needed. Think about it.

The longer you live single, the further away you tend to stay from the urgency of making -- and keeping -- commitments. And admit it: the more difficult it gets to be! Without a live-in significant other to keep you to your word, slip-sliding away from promises gets to be easier and easier. So, what to do about it? Here's what worked for me: Arrange with a friend (if you still have one) to walk together on a regular schedule, and to pay a fine if you show up late or not at all. (Make the lateness fine painful, and double the amount if you're a no-show!) After all, your commitment muscle should be as fit as the rest of you.

Love's finale, when it comes without legal eagles, can be every bit as excruciating as the formal thing. Premarital divorce, I call it, and I'm no stranger to its pain. With the ending comes resolve to never again leave one's heart vulnerable, but with a someone new and wonderful comes that surge of optimism and joy that cannot -- and must not -- be reasoned away. Positive thinking should triumph over fear when the time between loves has been constructively used for honest soul-searching and reflection.


Learn to trust your instincts. Hear them out carefully; they are always on your side. Consult them when you need an answer to one of life's problems. Big or small dilemma, these internal antennae are always attuned to your best interests. Always. There are times you may not want to hear their message, when your libido is on high and threatening to disconnect, but you must lower the volume and listen to your silent self. Tune in, sit still and receive the message from your best friends. They are always there for you. Before making any decision weightier than "what's for dinner tonight?" confer with yourself.


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 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at




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