Life Advice



Single File: Vive La Difference

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: You write a lot about undependence, but my friends don't see how it's different from independence. We argue a lot about it, and I need some ammo from you. -- From the 'Single File' Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: You can declare a truce (or a good-natured triumph) here and now. Whereas independence is -- according to Webster -- "the state or quality of freedom from the influence, control, or determination" of another. But my favorite term, "Undependence," is, plain and simple, wholeness. The undependent person is always in the process of developing their strengths, so they can depend on themselves for the wisdom it takes to live a full and satisfying life. That in no way makes them insular -- on the contrary, it enables them to get closer to the people they choose to fold into their life. Why is that? Knowing and developing themselves helps minimize the conflicts and hang-ups that plague so many relationships. They can become more intimate with the object of their affection because they've done the hard work of getting up close and personal with themselves. In a nutshell? Independence is freedom FROM something or someone, but undependence is the freedom OF being whole. (By the way, if you'd like a parchment copy of the Declaration of Undependence, send me your home address.)

DEAR SUSAN: Yes, Susan, I'm all for meeting men in groups that share an interest. However, you may not realize the dynamic of the Long Island region: THERE ARE NO SINGLE MEN in these groups. Any group or club on Long Island is frequented by women or senior citizens! (I know this from personal experience, as well as the experiences of single friends.) Really, Susan, I'm not opposed to being involved in such groups, as they can be rewarding. But please don't continue to advise your unmarried Long Island readers, such as Ingrid, that this is a way to meet men. Perhaps in another region with a different dynamic, but on Long Island it just is not! -- From the "Single File" Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Mea culpa. Long Island is hereby excised from the Single File locales with romance potential. Still, as I sit back and muse about places and ways to meet the love of your life, well, I still think you only need one person to change your world (and your mood) forever. And that one person can be anywhere -- on the Staten Island Ferry, or the warm sands of a West Coast beach. Agreed, the odds may be lower on Long Island (the reason for which I don't understand), but THE MEETING can occur anywhere: in an elevator, a doctor's office, the bicycle path in your neighborhood. Which makes me repeat my advice to stay open and receptive to the world around you; love could be on your menu in the most unexpected setting. I wish it to 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 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at




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