Life Advice



Single File: Rejection

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: My BFF believes that women should ask men for a date, but then when she does -- gets turned down -- it's the end of the world. I try to talk her out of her black mood, but she won't hear me. Maybe you can help? -- From the 'Single File' Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: (Sigh) The thing is, romance has been stressed -- not killed, mind you -- but sorely exhausted because it's been so one-sided. The poor, beleaguered male has had to be initiator in just about everything that's transpired between the sexes. And he's just about had it with the role! (Who can blame him?) So, when the female of the race -- feeder and nurturer and lots of good roles -- has to pony up to her plaintive cries for equality across the board -- well, she's got first-move jitters. And I'm not blaming her, certainly not. It's perfectly understandable to get stage fright when you're in a new role, but let's use this moment to go back to when we refused/rejected/declined invitations from men along the way and didn't think twice about their feelings. (Ahem!) Then go ask your best man out. For a date, a casual workday lunch, a stroll in the park. Be extra gentle, super gentle, tenderly take his hand and tell him you realize how wearying it must have been to make the first move in EVERYTHING. And you promise to remember that -- and promise to be the one to make the first move in whatever he'd like you to. Please clip this letter and show it to your BFF. You two may be Best Friends Forever, but she needs to learn/experience a thing or two about one-sided romance and how she can help remedy the condition.

DEAR SUSAN: In a singles discussion group, we were asked to think whether we built walls or bridges around ourselves. At home, thinking over the question with a friend, I realized I was building walls around myself as a sort of defense. I'm not about to go into therapy to find the reasons, so I'm asking you. Help. -- From the 'Single File' Blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Speaking therapist-ese, I'll go out on a limb and guess that you've worked hard to get where you are, and the instinct to hold on to your turf is natural and normal. But when you become overly sensitive about who you are (and what you've accomplished), you become defensive (a therapist's word?) and undermine all the good things you've achieved. For women, especially single women, liberation is still new enough to make us unsure it's here to stay, so sometimes we come on (too) strong, giving the impression that we can do it all ourselves (no one can), and we push people away. Thing is that genuinely confident women don't need to be defensive because they're quite sure about their life and what they've put into it. So, it boils down to self-confidence. How to gain it? Trust your instincts; consult them in the crunches and they'll grow stronger. Remember the last time you felt confident. That woman is the real you, and the more often you envision it the closer you will come to being that woman all the time. Do things you find exhilarating -- that make you feel strong and sure of yourself. Dancing does it for me, but find your own sources of pleasure/power. And do them often, to build that confidence. Along the way, analyze what's making you feel defensive. Find out why you're walling yourself in when you have so much to offer in the outside world. Is it fear? Shyness? Level with yourself, dig deep into yourself to isolate these impediments -- and ultimately vanquish them. The lasting cure for extreme defensiveness is to feel comfortable with the life you've made for yourself. As you snuggle into life as a confident, secure woman, there will be fewer instances where defensiveness is needed -- at least to the degree they wall you inside. Have I awakened your inner therapist? Hope so.



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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