Life Advice



Single File: Learning To Love

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: Some friends say I'm too full of myself, that I'm too conceited to fall in love. But really, I know myself very well and like myself. Will that keep me from finding love? -- From the 'Single File' Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: The short answer is NO. But it's the longer one that clears up misconceptions that have found a home around loving self. The truth is, if you don't think you're good enough to be loved, who will? And while you're pondering that one, consider this: When you start loving yourself and doing the small acts of love -- planting the garden you want, taking piano lessons, taking the weekend trip you've been dreaming of -- you're telling yourself you're good enough to fulfill your yearnings. (For a long time I've been urging unmarried women to use their best china and take that exotic trip now -- instead of saving the really good things for marriage!) The thing is, when you begin to nurture yourself in tangible ways, you'll start to feel fulfilled and cared for! (Yes, please do read that one more time.) And as you start to fulfill yourself, you'll become a more giving person. Your personal fullness will spill over onto those you love. And in that filled state of being, you'll be more able to take the risk of falling in love. Yes, it's a risk. But when you're filled with satisfactions you've given yourself, you're more likely to risk falling in love. The point is, if you don't love yourself, you can't love anyone. (With thanks to David Viscott's great book "Risking".) Lots to think about, eh?

DEAR SUSAN: Your survey a few years back touched on some pretty interesting stuff about sexual fantasies. What was it you learned from the respondents about their fantasies? -- From the 'Single File' Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: ... being freed from marriage, most men (and women, too) reported their sexual fantasies also freed -- more imaginative, more daring. In short, more of the turn-on elements that animated their fantasies. Usually the women were the instigators of the split, but it was the men who felt released most intensely. And their favorite fantasy? Being made love to by multiple women. Alone on a tropical island, just him (the man!) and a bevy of beauties all wanting to please. (What I took from that finding was that men are physically and emotionally tuckered out from the perpetual chasing role, and crave the passive position in lovemaking. Generally, both genders reported a richer, freer imagination involving their (mental) sexual scenarios. What they will be when and if respondents tie the knot again, I dare not imagine. But I would venture a guess they will most likely experience the same restriction if and when they form a love partnership. Could it be that men rather favor the tethered position? And should that be an arrow in the female quiver when she sets out to harpoon her man? Guess it's time for another survey.



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