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Susan Deitz

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Love and Marriage DEAR SUSAN: My fiance and I are planning a September wedding. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. Is there something you could tell us that would help, a tip about this huge step? — From the "Single File" blog DEAR BLOGGER: A …Read more. It Never Gets Old DEAR READERS: According to clinical sexologist Kat Van Kirk, it's an old wives' tale that we are less sexual as we age. Middle-agers seem to know exactly what they like — and don't like — in their sex play. Granted, there might be a few …Read more. Questions DEAR READERS: Yes, you're starting another of my brain ticklers, designed to spur those little gray cells into laughter, sighs, sometimes even irritation. But always, always, dear readers, for your enrichment. To make the day a little brighter &#…Read more. Piece of Paper DEAR SUSAN: Some say that marriage is just a piece of paper, that it makes no difference. As for myself, I'm not sure. As the pre-eminent guru on singleness, where do you stand? — From the "Single File" blog DEAR BLOGGER: Firmly in front of …Read more.
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Nice Guys and Roles

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DEAR SUSAN: Oy. If you would do some reading on various websites, you'd see that the guys using the term "nice" to describe themselves are really not. This has been borne out by comments on your own blog — the guys who feel they "did everything right" and still aren't scoring with the chicks. The ones bewildered because they thought "this is what women really want" aren't really that nice, in my view. The upshot for me? Within two years of putting off some guy who was testing me and playing games, I found and married a guy who is genuinely nice, not a game player. We've been married for more than 30 years. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: I'm dizzy from the spinning. It wasn't too long ago that the "nice guy" was nonexistent as a love object because niceness was seen as bland, colorless and dull. All he had going for him was his niceness — and that wasn't exactly interesting or sexy. One of my pet projects was (is) reassuring the nice guys out there (and there are plenty) that strong opinions make a man more interesting — even desirable. And both genders seem to have gotten the message! We women are turning away from the bad boy, finally getting the message that he's more trouble than he's worth, that coolness has a short shelf life. It's reassuring for this columnist to witness the turnaround, to see women growing up and appreciating a man for what he is, not what he has. We — they — are realizing the wonder of loving someone whose kindness has great strength.

That insight will carry us far. (Smile of the day: Many men who once strove to be Mr. Cool are now selling themselves as nice guys. Let the buyer beware.)

DEAR SUSAN: On your questionnaire, you asked whether we have friendships with members of the other gender that haven't led to sex and whether we feel closer to those friends because of it. Well, in my life, that has turned out to be the case, so I'd have to say yes. But why is that? — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Not being the oracle at Delphi — merely a devoted ally of singleness — I'd say that without sexual tension, two people who truly like each other are able to more fully relax and show their true colors. The outcome can be dramatically different when sex (and all its ramifications) enters the relationship. Ideally, as I daydream my way to love's nirvana, the sexual aspect of togetherness should come later, well after the rest of the relationship is out there, honestly displayed — and before sexual tension becomes a major player in the drama. Sex is wonderful, agreed, but it does have a tendency to cloud one's senses. Sometimes that's fine and the whole picture of the relationship can be fleshed out (no pun intended) without major disappointments. But in my experience, as I've seen relationships form and then fall apart rather quickly, it's a better bet to have togetherness formed before the erotic aspect happens. Color me idealist, but that's the way I've seen relationships (friendships, really) keep their freshness.

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

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