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Susan Deitz

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Are You Angry at Men? (Part 2 of 2) DEAR READERS: As promised, here is the second batch of questions to get to the heart of the reasons you could be angry at men. Let's get to it: —Was your father an abusive man? An alcoholic? —Are you afraid in your heart of hearts that a …Read more. Are You Angry at Men? (Part 1 of 2) DEAR SUSAN: Lately, you've been writing about women's anger toward men. It's making me wonder whether I am guilty. Sure, I've had my share of disappointments with men, but how can I tell whether I'm really a man hater? I've been wondering about this …Read more. Male-bashing DEAR SUSAN: I can't stand it. My best girlfriends are turning out to be man haters — and when we get together for some fun, the talk turns to men and what beasts they are. I don't agree, but I don't want to drop these friends. Help. — …Read more. Dating Differently DEAR SUSAN: I've been reading your column for a long time, and I like your ideas about dating. Again, say what you have to say about the ways an unmarried person should use his or her time. — From the "Single File" blog DEAR BLOGGER: It's …Read more.
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Losing Independence

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DEAR SUSAN: After all I've been through making a name and a life, I am honestly scared — truly spooked — by the thought of merging my life with my lover. Many other women and I want love but are scared to death of losing what we've fought for. Loving my man could require the sacrifice of my independence. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Nonsense. That sort of overreaction merely shows women to be newcomers in the world of power. Frankly, I never thought I'd be saying this, but the movement that brought us ownership of our lives neglected to supply an owners manual. And because I see signs of dangerous misuse of our selfhood, some guidelines are definitely in order. Please hear me out.

The point of women's liberation is masterful use of our newly discovered freedom. Subtlety and diplomacy are some of the tools that can get us what we want for ourselves. The trouble is that we've been squandering our hard-earned assertiveness without realizing that judicious use only increases its potency. You see, what we've been calling the hallmarks of independence are, at times, pent-up aggression and resentment. But the woman who sees and asserts her independence clearly is capable of authentic friendship with her male counterpart because she knows she's coming from a position of equal strength. She doesn't hide from romantic love, because she knows that without her consent, no one can take away what she has built into herself.

So the answer to the big question is a resounding "yes." An independent woman can indeed have it all — love, romance, emotional interdependence.

The precondition, however, is achieving true independence. Handled with grace and dignity, it serves love exquisitely well.

DEAR SUSAN: I love the big lug. He's not exactly rich or handsome, but he values me in so many wonderful ways. Main thing? He gives me respect. To him, I am Wonder Woman. Still, the relationship is quite new, and I'm not at all sure he sees me as a whole person, because he himself has a busy and important life. What can I do to let him know my needs are important, too? I so want to have this be an equal relationship; I've never had one. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Now that you're involved with a good man who values you as a person, it is really important that you make a point of establishing reciprocity in the relationship, because unless you make a point of asking for it, you could possibly be swamped by his needs. (It's happened!) Asking for it can be done in small ways, with you sending signals that your needs are as important to you as his are to him. If you slide by the moment to talk about this, you could regret it big-time. Remember that reciprocity is the passkey that opens up the depth of intimacy where two people keep their individuality while being joined emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and — ultimately — physically. Start the conversation — or play show and tell.

Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at susan@single-file.com.

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Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
LW1 -- Seems to me you've been "merging my life" if you've been dating for any length of time. I thought the normal way was to love your "lover" and that usually takes time. Unless he's your "lover" is one of those FWB's? Making a name and a life is one of those things you do everyday, merging your life with your lover is an added plus. Also did you ever stop to think about him - his thoughts on merging his life with your's?
Comment: #1
Posted by: J
Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:14 AM
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