creators home lifestyle web
Susan Deitz


Old Patterns DEAR SUSAN: I've been dating a lady for some time, and we've gotten to know each other well. What worries me is that she reminds me of my ex-wife — so much so that I'm afraid things between us will work out the same way they did with my failed …Read more. 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.
more articles

Practice on the C Group


DEAR SUSAN: I have to weigh in with my Internet dating experiences. After my divorce, when I felt ready to date, I signed up at to see what it was all about. I had no preferences about height and weight, but I did specify no smoking and asked for an age limit of 10 years older or younger than I was. I was so very nervous; I hadn't dated since the Carter administration. But my online dating experiences helped give me confidence, confidence to meet strangers and go on dates with them. Some online introductions died at the wink stage, some after an email, some after a phone conversation. The rest I met for coffee, but none of them got past the second or third date. Of my longer-term relationships, one was a chance meeting and lasted four months, and the other is in its fourth year and counting. But if I hadn't practiced dating, which helped me lose my fright, I'm not sure this could have ever happened. As I gradually became more confident, I became readier to meet someone special.

It reminds me of something I learned in a sales seminar: First thing, make a list of three categories. The first one, A, is for people you're pretty sure will say yes. The B group consists of people who may say yes. C is made up of people you're pretty sure will say no. My suggestion is to get your practice on the C group. I don't mean to imply that everyone online is the C group, but it was online practice with men in that category that prepared me for the success I had in real life. I truly hope this helps someone else. — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: Your experiences help us understand the weird world of online dating because you detail for us your gradual growth, from (very) nervous neophyte to seasoned smoothie. Your maturation took a while because you were so new at the game, but you stayed with it and went toe-to-toe with its slights. (That's a lesson in itself, a tribute to your persistence.) Then you describe your judgments of the men you were meeting as you winnowed out the undesirables by their online responses, by phone conversations and by in-person meetings "for coffee." Through it all, your better sense prevailed, even as you resisted discouragement.

You never gave up! You stayed with the process, learned its valuable lessons and are passing them on. The main one is to have a high throughput of social interactions. That can be done online, through friends and by participating in common interest groups. And then there's always the chance encounter, the random happening that becomes a life changer. Possible, but the odds are low. And yes, online dating sites can lead to happy endings. Your experience will surely help many other women and men in the same position. We're all grateful.

DEAR SUSAN: The advantages of being married, even in these "concept of marriage as outdated," are overwhelming. Most important are the legalities involved. Children — their visitation, custody and medical decisions — should be foremost. Who in his right mind could disagree with that? Then there are other issues, decisions to be made regarding property, bank accounts, paychecks, rented or cooperative apartments or houses. Need I continue? I think not. Then there's the personal satisfaction of introducing your life partner. Nothing gives me greater happiness than saying, "I'd like you to meet my wife." That magic word, wife, conjures up images unimaginable with any other term, especially "significant other." — From the "Single File" blog

DEAR BLOGGER: My mother and I have this duel on a regular basis. And admittedly, I don't always have a snappy retort that makes sense. Moi: More and more often these days, when two people make a long-term commitment, they decide not to marry. And there seem to be fewer reasons to get married. They can have a family life, have children and live as a family, all without a marriage license. Way back when, they would reap the strong disapproval of their parents, their community, their children's teachers and other pillars of the community, but that disapproval doesn't seem to be so vehement anymore. They can have it all and still keep their single status. All current research confirms this, Mom.

Mom's comeback: If two people are prepared to weather the storm together, to assume parental responsibilities and risk occasional boredom, why on earth don't they go all the way and get married?

At this point, I pass the ball to you. If all those other conditions are in place — and they are for many couples living as committed mates enjoying family life, only not as signatories on a marriage license — what are the reasons for not marrying?

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



2 Comments | Post Comment
One VERY good reason not to marry is if a military person is killed in service, the spouse and children will still have the best of medical insurance and care. Marry, and it is lost. If it is needed later-----it is gone.

There are other company insurance benefits that might be lost if one marries again. Check this out well before marrying, if you are widowed.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Brenda
Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:28 AM
Does an adult child of a killed-in-action service member continue to receive those top insurance and care benefits throughout his life? Or do they terminate at some point?
Comment: #2
Posted by: hedgehog
Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:35 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Susan Deitz
Feb. `16
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 1 2 3 4 5
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month