Life Advice



Single File: More Summer Tips

Susan Dietz on

Should a woman pop the question? Darn right she should. And now you know why men wait and wait and wait -- until they're 100% sure they'll get a "yes" answer. And you? I bet you'll have a headache and a touch of queasiness just thinking about it, but make something happen! You will feel really good about making the first move. Promise.

There are blues -- and then there are the BLUES. For the biggies, you know my advocacy for talking it over with a caring, skilled therapist. But for the smaller mood swings, smaller remedies will usually do: a brisk walk, a phone call to the folks, a home-based chore that has needed to be done for ages. This is a good time to put on your favorite music while you're fixing up the old homestead. Or maybe write a love letter to your dreamboat. (Don't mail it!)

Being single can be so much more when you take it seriously and plan as if the unmarried state will hang around longer than expected. (Besides, you're actually starting to enjoy being chairman of the board!) That in no way deletes the marriage option or shortens your singleness by one day, but it does mean you stop postponing and start living. The as-if lifestyle is a commitment to the present that actually enhances your future. Think about it.

Put down roots. Now. Not tomorrow in the vague someday when you're coupled and childrened and familied. Now, this week, join one of your church's committees; speak up in your family's discussions; volunteer at your local political headquarters; get known at the recycling center, at the local children's hospital. Turn up the volume. Mix in with life. You'll feel a whole lot better. Guaranteed.

Ladies, do you think finances are dry and boring? Think of them this way: Solvency equals independence -- in and out of a relationship -- not to mention dignity, mobility, autonomy and feelings of self-worth. (All that good stuff comes along with a financial base. Still bored?) But if you still feel that dealing with money is a man's mission, well, you're doomed to spend your singleness in passive mode and little-girl thinking that repels every man worth his salt. But of course, if you go for little boys who need little girls, well, that's up to you. Hmm.


Do you imagine that men have it easier when they're unmarried? Agreed, they do get to go to more dinner parties, because they're seen as trophies in that setting; single women are sore thumbs there. But consider this: When the family splits, they're the ones ousted from their home and family life, while women stay put.

Men bear the burden of making the first move socially and are expected to pay -- and pay and pay -- to have company. They can't weep and talk out their problems as we women can and do. They need to be stoic, have a stiff upper lip. Those expectations are weighty, and I feel for men who labor under them. Do you, too?


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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