Life Advice



Single File: Reader Mail

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: Hopefully by now you've gotten some email in support of your position on the engagement ring issue. This widely and fervently held and programmed belief is just one more symptom of the stranglehold marketing has on our culture, overriding all. -- Mike

DEAR MIKE: You and I may be the only humanoids on planet Earth who see the ring scam! I remember well the letter that started it all, from a young woman who was complaining about her workaholic fiance and his lack of time for engagement ring shopping. Knowing the hours spent comparing rings and going from store to store to compare prices -- coupled with his super-busy work schedule -- his hesitation passes the test. But her fussing and fuming need a closer look! If she's truly rock-solid (pun intended) about his devotion, a few carats of understanding -- from her -- would make their love more durable. Both of them need to have a long, quiet heart-to-heart to clear the air and renew their ties to each other. That part's eminently doable. It's the flakiness of putting too much importance on a piece of carbon that irks me. If their commitment is truly lifetime, there'll be plenty of time for ring shopping. If not, well, best to know that upfront.

DEAR SUSAN: I take exception to the idea that it's mostly women who change for their partner. I feel certain this happens just as often with men. If either party is extremely rigid about making changes for the other, the relationship is doomed. I think the ideal would be a mixture of retention and change for both of them. -- Luther

DEAR LUTHER: You do come up with meaty issues, friend! Agreed, it's an age-old stereotype that the female does hijinks (almost anything) to please -- and keep -- her man. But the times, they are a-changing ... for the better, I'd say. The millennials have raised awareness about that issue, and the elders (the wise ones, anyway) are listening and learning about a better way to be with one another. More honest, more real. No game playing. What you see is what you get.

Luther, you've put a hot potato on the grill. I can't wait for the mailman.

DEAR READER: Now, while you're uncoupled and (relatively) free to have things your way, my friend, it's time to live and think outside the box. Wouldn't it be a sea change if you could mark the following as "done and enjoyed"?

Own a sheer black nightgown from Victoria's Secret.

Lose those 10 extra pounds that bother you.


Have a professional massage -- or two -- this month!

Bring a beloved child (or niece?) to Disney World.

Ask that nice man from work to lunch on the weekend.

Have a leisurely walk through the park (preferably solo, to give yourself time to think about things).


Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at 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.



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