Life Advice



Single File: Freedom to Be

Susan Dietz on

From one of my favorite books, "Risking," by David Viscott, here are some truths that resonate today as powerfully (maybe even more so) as they did when they were first published. Please give each one the time it deserves, and let me know your thoughts about them.

--For a relationship to work, both partners must have all the freedom, privacy and opportunity they need, even though this provides a chance to be unfaithful, hurtful or undermining. You cannot control your partner's feelings. You have to risk loving without possessing.

--If you want the best kind of relationship, you have to risk losing it.

--A person who is afraid of hurting you by being himself can never give his best self to you.

--A person who is not free to withdraw his love is not free to give his love.

--A person who is afraid to take risks for love never really loves at all.

--Should you ever lose a love by not letting the other person be himself, the day will come when there is no risk you would not take to bring him back, but by then, it may be too late.


--You will take any risk to get a person who once loved you to love you again. You will share your deepest feelings, admit your fallibility, give up your pretenses, learn to trust and allow him any freedom, but people seldom risk loving an old love again.

--Just as you must find the road to your best self and follow it wherever it takes you, you must allow your partner to do the same. A relationship in which the chance to do this is denied to either partner is a failure, even if it never dissolves and other people think it's successful.

--Change starts with a shift in attitude toward what you perceive, feel and experience. The external world is pretty much the same for everyone. It's what happens inside each of us that varies and can change the most. We change for the best by seeking a higher level of honesty in feeling and by learning to accept ourselves and others as we are, not by being blind to our faults and needs out of fear. Without this honesty, there is no real change. Instead, we are forced to repeat negative experiences and distort the world just to prove we were right, just to cling to a false sense of safety.


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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