DEAR SUSAN: This is for J, who has so much time and money on his hands: Most of my friends are attractive, and so am I. We're athletic and none is over 40. But most of us aren't having sex or dating. We're juggling work, child care, etc. Being unmarried, it's assumed we have spare time and money; so we're asked to baby-sit or work extra shifts around the holidays. We don't have time to swan around clubs and bars seeking entitled, unattached men like you. The only women with time, money and resources for that are being supported by someone. You should put that massive time and resource surplus you have into something worthwhile, such as charitable or community work. That's where you'll find unattached women worth knowing. From the Single File blogDEAR BLOGGER: Every word of your posting rings true. (I've been there myself, single woman and single mom, so your lessons are so familiar and so true.) Those multiple roles and obligations are making you more of a person, more of a mother, more of an asset in this world. Every weary hour, every shrug of your shoulders is a building block that strengthens your character and makes you more attractive. The man who raises your pulse will recognize your worth. And no, you won't find each other in a bar.
DEAR SUSAN: My husband is 59 and confined to a nursing home. He's been progressively ill for a number of years, and my role has changed from wife to mother to caregiver to guardian. (I'm told he has one more year to live.) I am lonely and long to be in a relationship again, but I'm torn about socializing and meeting men. I don't even know how to look for a relationship. Could you help? From the Single File blog
DEAR BLOGGER: A good relationship needs fine-tuning and lots of trust. The letter above yours goes a long way toward pointing you in the direction of a solution. In your situation, relationship is the goal -- but in a way that is tasteful and discreet, a way that would not make you feel guilty or conflicted. Groups are a low-pressure way to meet people -- through church, volunteering, interests -- without any "dating" tinge. A social life not aimed at dating, which brings you into good company, can suit your needs at this juncture in your life, without inducing conflict and guilt. Make a few calls -- to the United Way, your house of worship -- and follow up with brief visits to "get the picture" of the project and the people. Push yourself a bit, because the payoff will be worthwhile. There is no guarantee you will meet a man there, but your life will be richer and your conscience will be clear.