Life Advice



Single File: Wired for Games?

Susan Dietz on

DEAR SUSAN: My fiance and I are separated but still see each other occasionally. I saw he was losing interest, so I separated to work on our issues, and that experience fits into your recent questions. I began seeing a therapist to deal with the stress of the situation and discovered I was being too nice and needed to be more "unavailable."

The fact of the matter is that women must play these games; it's the only way to keep men interested. The chase is better than the catch, they say, so you must keep them chasing you. If you give in to a last-minute invitation, you become less intriguing. To us women, it's a game. To men, it's the way they're wired. So I answer your questions:

--How late in the week can he call for a date?

If it's for Saturday night, the latest is Wednesday. Otherwise, I'm "busy" -- even if it's laundry.

--Do you think he respects you more if you have a deadline?

I think he respects my time more, and it works like a charm. Men learn they must call you earlier in the week to capture your attention and set a date.

--Does your deadline change if you really want to see him?


No. As I said before, if you drop everything at the last minute to see him, he'll know you were just waiting around for him to ask you out -- and what's interesting about that?

--Do you respect yourself more if you have a set deadline?

Yes, because I know I'm worth the wait, and if he agrees, next time he won't wait until the last minute. -- Amanda M.

DEAR AMANDA: It sounds disturbingly like "the rules," a contrived and (in my opinion) absurd spin on dating, turning a budding relationship into structured game-playing. As if the dating game weren't phony enough, you (or your therapist) decided to apply arbitrary and phony timelines and strictures for the other person. Hey! Wake up, little one. We're living in a nuclear age, a time when the wrong cloud over the wrong country could spell big trouble for all of us. Ease up, woman. If your man needs games to keep him interested, how would he handle daily married life with you? Think about it.


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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