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Loneliness DEAR SUSAN: I am unmarried and live alone. I like my alone time, but at times, I get lonely. I've achieved "compatibility with myself" (your words), but that doesn't exclude loneliness. I would like to find someone, but that doesn't make me fearful …Read more. The Dating Difference DEAR SUSAN: Research into which gender pays for a date shows that though the man is usually expected to pay for a woman's company, the old ways are changing. More and more people are egalitarian, saying that gender should not determine who pays for …Read more. Happily Me DEAR SUSAN: I read a recent column of yours, and I must say the joy and euphoria I've felt since reading it are immeasurable! A woman who wrote to you spoke words of gold. So many friends give me the "never say never" and "you just haven't met the …Read more. Children as Connection DEAR SUSAN: At 30, I have two children, 5 and 11. My wife died five years ago, and between working and parenting, I have precious little time to meet a nice woman. I'm quiet around people I don't know well, and my friends are all married, so I don't …Read more.
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Give It a Chance

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DEAR SUSAN: I am currently going through a divorce and have been amused to see all the resistance to Internet dating. I met the best person on a dating website and couldn't be happier. (I had four dates within a month of signing up; he had three in the 16 months before he found me.) My advice to anyone is to give things a chance. Meet someone who intrigues you in a public place, and work things from there. Remember that the other person is also looking and will generally appreciate your letting him/her know after the first date whether or not you continue to be interested. If you hit it off, you'll both know it. So get a little outside your comfort zone and take the chance. After all, what have you got to lose? At the very least, I had some great stories to tell at work! — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: As my brother used to say before he met the love of his life through a mutual friend, dating is a game of hurt and be hurt. No doubt, many egos are crushed daily by unreal hopes raised too high too soon, but — and this is a big but — rejection feels awful when there's just too much of it. And let's face it; some of us have heavier armor than others, defenses that can, in the extreme, shrink life to the tiny world of self-absorption. Still, assuming your singleness folds in good people and more interests than surfing social sites nightly, in moderation they can be diverting. Whether they bring the embodiment of your most romantic dreams is in the lap of the gods, not mine to say, but it seems wise to cast your net widely — all the while remembering there are plenty of fish in the sea.

DEAR SUSAN: What many men don't seem to understand is that not all women are man-hating moneygrubbers.

Many of us are rather fond of the men in our lives. Many of us (like you) have raised sons whom we love dearly. Others have fathers, brothers, brothers-in-law and male friends whom we respect highly. I think many men find comfort in believing that all women are moneygrubbers, etc. I get that it's easier for them to do that than to open their minds to the possibility that they may be wrong. But they are wrong, and they are the ones with the closed minds here. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: There are some who stay fixed in their beliefs as an easier way to go through life because it needs little thought. (Yes, shifting and rethinking and changing opinions means leaving one's comfort zone. Ouch.) It gets to be a habit, a lifelong curbing of the mind. In the short term, it's easier that way, but over the long haul, the mind shrinks. Life becomes a reliving of old patterns and old choices. Original thinking is unknown. But the mind hardens into cynicism and negativism. Sad for the person, sadder still for the relationships that could have been but weren't given entrance to the narrowness of a cloistered mind. Generalizing is a dangerous game, so restrictive that it glosses over the individuality that makes each one of us so precious. Marking time through the years with the same-old, same-old narrowness of mind seems to me to be a humungous waste of brain matter. Granted, it is safer in the short run, but safety comes at a very high price.

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