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Susan Deitz


Valentine DEAR READERS: In this month of valentines, this is my love token for you. It's been a long time coming — years, not months — because our relationship needed time to ripen. You and I needed time to build solid trust in each other. Day by …Read more. Friendship With Benefits DEAR SUSAN: There's something between casual sex and sex between committed partners. I don't know what to call it, but I do know it exists. I read that the French have a term for it: "less than lovers, more than friends." It's certainly possible for …Read more. Never-Married Quiz DEAR READERS: For your reading pleasure, a quiz. As always, this is not to judge yourself with a "right" or "wrong" response. The purpose is to hold up a mirror to yourself and search within for the current truth. Yes, our feelings can change. Our …Read more. Clutter DEAR SUSAN: You write about clutter in our lives, but you include people in that. Isn't that a bit cruel? — From the "Single File" blog DEAR BLOGGER: (Sigh.) There are times in life (especially single life) when you must be "cruel" to be kind …Read more.
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Downbeat Dance


DEAR SUSAN: How would you advise a 55-year-old man who has never been in a serious relationship and who wants to get into the dating scene? I live in a New York suburb, am financially secure and own my home. I'm a decent guy with average looks and excellent health. (Over the years, I've fought off depression and anxiety issues, but I've always persevered and been productive.) My feeling is that most desirable women would reject someone in his 50s who hasn't had a serious relationship — even a man who has a lot going for him. At this point, I've stopped trying. But I'd like to know what you think of the situation. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: My crystal ball sees a good man who sees only a part of the big picture of his life, the negatives. That is probably why you're not doing well in the dating scene. Instead of bemoaning your lack of experience with relationships, be thankful you don't have the complications of a former family. Instead, you've used the time to purchase your own home and to secure your finances. How many people can say that?

Your next move should be to sidestep negativism. A shift in emphasis will open up new worlds, which in turn will lead you to interesting people. You're waking up at just the right time, when you have secured your life and feel ready to enter the relationship arena. There are two ways to open its doors: interest groups and an online dating site geared specifically to your age group — Pointedly for the over-50 group, this site has potential for you, with people of the same generation and (probably) outlook. As you've become more discerning over time, so have the women you will meet.

If nothing else, using this site will help you gain experience. You know you have a lot going for you. Make the presentation.

But don't forget your interests and how they can lead to men and women you'd probably never meet any other way. Think of it: easy conversations focused on a common passion, with people as beguiled by it as you. That commonality seems to me a very strong bond.

Both doors are open and welcoming. This could be your time.

DEAR SUSAN: I have a question for you and my fellow bloggers: If a woman isn't sure she's attracted to a guy who asks her out, should she still date him in order to find out for sure? If there isn't a strong initial attraction, should she even try? If after one or two dates there's still nothing, does she tell him she wants to be only friends? When I do that, they get very angry. I don't make them pay for dates or flirt overtly/lead them on, etc. I'm just polite and talkative and laughy on dates. Anyway, I'd appreciate the opinions of the guys who read this. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: You aren't sure whether you're sexually attracted to a man? C'mon now, either you are or you aren't. About 99.9 percent of the time, either your innards are stirred the first time you're with him or the viscera remain absolutely calm, except perhaps for a low-grade sensation of friendly liking. Nothing more.

However, there is that 0.1 percent of the time when physical attraction comes later; the lightning bolt can be even more intense for its being delayed. Now, that's not for the faint of heart, because it takes patience, discipline and strength of faith (in yourself and that other) to stick around and give this dawning its own time.

It's a tough call, one of the trickiest in Singleworld. Guys, what's your take on this?

Have a question for Susan? Send it to her in care of this newspaper or online at



3 Comments | Post Comment
LW1: I'm wondering, do you have any longtime friends? Maintain ties with and enjoy a good relationship with your family? Either points to someone who can sustain a relationship.

You're sabotaging yourself when you tell yourself what women want. (Also, if by "desirable" women you mean women substantially younger than you are, or only supermodel types). Women's options in the dating field tend to narrow as they age, while men's exapand -- due to several factors: There just ARE more women in an older population and our culture finds it normal for women to date older men, but not so much younger men. All of which puts odds in your favor.

LW2: Vehemently disagree that 99.9 percent of the time you know immediately whether you're attracted. Dear Abby or Ann Landers, forget which, defined love as "friendship that has caught fire." I've read enough letters from older newlyweds who, after being widowed, fell in love with an old family friend or even a spouse's sibling they'd known for years and never felt ANY attraction to. LW is asking whether lack of "strong initial attraction" is a sign she should cut the guy off soon -- and she mentions this happens regularly. I say, if she was attracted enough to go out with the guy, unless he does something so egregious on the first couple of dates (rudeness to or lack of tip for wait staff, picking his nose, rudeness to you, etc.) that you know you could NEVER be attracted to him, your best bet is to let this spool out a little more, doing different kinds of activities, to see what happens. Once he relaxes a bit, you may uncover a real gem instead of the bland guy who's working superhard to impress you.
Comment: #1
Posted by: hedgehog
Wed Mar 7, 2012 4:50 AM
Im Blogger #2, and yes, you are kind of right in that the ones that I was referring to were ones I was not really attracted to physically. More really liking their personality and hoping attraction would follow. I think I need to be more firm with my gut then, and not date anyone who doesn't light my fire right away :) unless I make friendship a clear thing off the bat.
Comment: #2
Posted by: julie
Wed Mar 7, 2012 1:03 PM
If you don't like a person you shouldn't date/ fuck them. Seriously that sounds dumb. Sometimes though you have to find out if you like them.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Daphne
Thu Mar 8, 2012 11:05 AM
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