Life Advice



Single File: Man Search

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: I've met a nice man via an online service and want to encourage him, but the man I've loved for the past three years is now back in my life. Both of them live thousands of miles from me, and that's part of the reason things weren't going well for man No. 1. And that's why at 39 I've decided it's time to start a man search. But am I making this too important? -- Carmela R., Long Island, New York

DEAR CARMELA: You yourself already know the answer: a determined safari for a man -- Anyman -- has to end in despair. You've decided to get serious about love and men and all that, and that's fine. As it should be. But the choices/decisions are yours to make -- yours alone. How can I tell you how important the miles are, when true love is shared? Here you are, being pursued by two eligibles, and you're not sure if it's all that important to choose between them. But as I muse on the situation, it occurs to me that if the miles did NOT exist between you and these candidates you might turn and run. Judging by your history, I'd say availability was the crux of the plot. You like to keep men at a distance (literally and figuratively) for safety, keeping real marital possibilities far from your door. Now that's really the important issue for you to think about.

DEAR SUSAN: Last fall, my boyfriend and I got our own apartments after living together for 4 and a half years. He was unhappy living with me and wanted his freedom. (He's 32, I'm 29.)

We see each other regularly. Neither of us has dated anyone else. I'd like to see others but haven't met anyone yet. I really don't know why I still see him. I want to get married someday; he says he'd like to live alone for the rest of his life. I wonder if I'm wasting my time. I'd hate to lose him as a friend, but I want to date others.

Is this reasonable? -- Cameron D., Honolulu, Hawaii

DEAR CAMERON: Reasonable, yes. Smart, no. You and your former roommate are on separate paths, and his is leading you to Nowheresville, far from the married state you crave. Yes, it's a wrench to split from someone who feels so comfortable to be with and who (I assume) continues to be your lover. But it's that connection that can keep you from finding someone who also wants marriage. I remember too well ending a long relationship that was going nowhere; it took my mother to end it. I ached for a long time, but I survived. She explained that being with him filled my need for love, so I didn't really look for anyone else. It wasn't until I made that painful amputation that I began to see other men as they were, discounting most but able to see them clearly.


I did meet my heart's delight one day and saw the wisdom of that decision that hurt so much. Take it from one who's been there: If he ain't going your way, wanting what you want from the relationship, suck up your courage and say bye-bye. It will hurt, yes, but one fine day you'll realize you've given yourself the gift of gifts: a future.

HERPES RESOURCES. My mailman tries to discourage me from mentioning my lists to you readers, because the next week his bag is heavy with requests from readers asking for them. But -- here I go again. If you or a friend needs my list of Herpes Resources, write in (include a LONG envelope) and ask for it by name. Send no money; it's free. Your peace of mind is my reward.

SINGLE FILE TIP: If you're finding that the kind of person you are attracting is not the type you want, search your soul to see what you're doing wrong. (After the search, ask a few good friends to tell you in no uncertain terms what's really going on in terms of your image, your speech, the places you frequent and so on. Insist that they tell you the bare-bones truth, even though it may hurt you. Ask your parents, too, and your favorite relatives, those people who really give a damn about you and your happiness. And do look at yourself in a full-length mirror... are your teeth clean, gums pinkish, smile bright, eyes clear, body trim and fit? C'mon. You can do it. I can help.


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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