Life Advice



Single File: Mystery

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: You're always going on about head games between men and women, yet I've read where you are a strong believer in a woman's mystery. Please explain. -- From the "Single File'' Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: The mystery I favor is poles apart from the senseless and childish phoniness so common in the dating game. It takes a clever woman (yes, mystery is usually associated with the female of the species.) It has to do with not telling your life story from day one too early in a promising relationship. Be charming, soft, feminine. Leave plenty of silent spaces in the conversation for him to tell his story. Don't laugh too often, but do smile when appropriate. Above all, be authentic. Be yourself; be real. Listen when he speaks, don't hurry to have him clam up so you can have the limelight. Most important, show him someone who doesn't need to hog the conversation to be interesting. Believe me, the spaces in the talk between the two of you are much more intriguing than the words themselves. The point is to have him intrigued, curious to know more about this woman who keeps personal stuff private. Right off the bat, the first few minutes you two are conversing, let him see someone who can hold herself with dignity, maturity -- a clever, upbeat woman who doesn't spill the beans on the first meeting.

DEAR SUSAN: I wonder if my anger toward men is keeping me from a happy relationship with one. Some time ago one of your columns touched on this, and I've been thinking about it ever since. I know you think men are angry toward women, but how about the other way around? -- From the "Single File" Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Aha. The shoe (a stylishly pointed one, at that) is on the other foot. Let's you and I go down memory lane and figure out just where the hostility-to-men gene came from. (By the way, I admire your courage to look under these rocks.) Here goes:

-- Was your father reluctant to show you his love or approval?

-- Do you find yourself using the cause of feminism or women's rights to disguise your resentment of men?


-- Did your older brother(s) leave you out of things? Did your parents show him preferential treatment because he was male?

-- Were you badly burned by a teenage crush?

-- Have men desired you only as a sex object most of the time? (Have they made you feel worthless most of the time?)

-- Do men make promises to you and not follow through most of the time?


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