DEAR SUSAN: It’s so true that it takes work to prevent your man from representing all in your life. That means plenty of activities without him and mindfully avoiding the temptation to see him as some sort of savior/noble knight rescuing you from a humdrum life. That’s a huge temptation for many people — to regard each date as one’s own personal happily-ever-after (and salvation from further dating) and to rush to that happily-ever-after. The best thing is to consciously appreciate the things you like about your single life — and relish the fact that you don’t need to get married just for the sake of being married. Enjoy the slowness of the relationship.

— From the “Single File” blog

DEAR BLOGGER: That slowness factor, new to this generation of women, doesn’t get much press, but it absolutely must be recognized for the luxury it is. Our own mothers didn’t have it, and many women in other cultures today don’t (yet) have it. Masks slip with time, but a good relationship, with shared values and mutual respect, only deepens as it grows. Time is the ultimate test of togetherness, so it makes great good sense to enjoy the advantages of your singleness while in a promising relationship, appreciating the breathing space it gives the relationship. That lets it unfold gradually and gives it better odds of providing a happiness that has had time to prove itself.

DEAR SUSAN: It seems to me women have a pet peeve about the constant boundary pushing they get from the “nice” men who make sure they stand a little too close, are a little too handsy and take a few too many liberties with a woman’s body and/or reputation. Usually, everyone rallies around the boundary pusher and pressures the woman to give him a chance “because he’s so nice,” when in reality he’s simply a well-socialized creep. Dating a jerk, on the other hand, is no walk in the park, but at least you know where you stand — and you don’t constantly have the feeling you’re being set up for something.

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— From the “Single File” blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Reading your post every way but upside down, I still don’t get the point. Why are the sincerely nice guys out there in the single world being skewered for groping? Surely, you don’t mean to imply that every nice guy uses his niceness as a cover for his roaming hands. (Or do you?) It’s late at night here in Manhattan, and my green eyes are somewhat bloodshot from overuse, but I still cannot understand your generalized connection between male niceness and roving hands. Yes, male niceness can at times be a cover for shyness, but that in itself can be endearing and spark a woman’s maternal instinct. But what that has to do with pushing a woman’s fleshly boundaries, I fail to grasp. Perhaps some reader can help me out.