DEAR SUSAN: My feeling is that dating adds to life but doesn't make it complete. My advice to the blogger who just recently became single is to find out about yourself now, when you have more time and you're your own boss. You don't have to get married, but you may someday for a partnership. You're going to have to get out of your comfort zone now. And keep your eyes open; there are some good men out there who are also looking. As you say, Susan, "the yearning for a friend who happens to be male may change things completely."
From the "Single File" blog
DEAR BLOGGER: Amen. The most fun possible in an unmarried stretch is to delete dating. (Read that again, for emphasis.) Freely translated, that means moving around your personal cosmos with a smile on your rosebud lips, a twinkle in your baby blues and absolutely no secret hope of meeting a dreamboat. Scrub yourself clean; smell good; and prepare for adventure. And dating? Nope. This sounds hokey and a bit extreme, but I'd like you to see how strong you are without the other gender in your life. Not for all time but maybe for week or two -- or three. I can practically guarantee your feeling of freedom. It's as if a new world has opened and is inviting you to try another kind of singleness -- without formal dating. Take the Deitz dare and do it! I promise your comments will appear in this column after you've tried this for a while. But yes, there is a warning tucked into this exercise: You may never go back to formal dating!
DEAR SUSAN: I've been reflecting on your efforts to get women to abandon the passive position with regard to instigating relationships. With me, it's a matter of power. The passive position can be expressed in a different way: "My way or the highway." Because that's what it has amounted to in my experience. (The power of the passive position is that the action takes place where you're at -- physically or socially -- or it doesn't happen at all.) I know that for me -- and I suspect for many other men -- the "reward" of making all the moves has been that I've been held responsible for all of them, roundly criticized for having made them incorrectly, picked on, mocked for not fitting some ideal that is surely as unrealistic and stereotypical as Barbie ever was. I don't want my life to be an endless phony sales pitch. If I hold out for someone who'll make a few moves herself, at least I'll have going for me that I'm her kind of Ken. Plus, she'll be willing to sacrifice the power of the passive position -- meaning, one hopes, that she will like, desire and trust me. Eh? God bless.
From the "Single File" blog
DEAR BLOGGER: Hey, old friend, it's good to know you're still hoping for the ideal woman -- at least your version of her. And as usual, your stance is well-articulated -- and well-understood by this corner of the Web. But I'd like women -- many of them, sincere and perhaps misunderstood by the men in their love lives -- to comment here about their innermost feelings about their love lives and the men in them. Of course, the issue is so generational that it's almost wildly absurd to compare older women with the young women of today. And I'm inviting men of any and all generations to have their say, here in print, and finally get their moment in the sun. God bless them all -- and God bless you.