DEAR SUSAN: Maybe I've mistaken the point of "Single File" — which I imagined was about people who are single, not in a long-term, committed relationship! In the past, I've commented on your blog that you seem hung up on the notion that most people "lose themselves" when they enter a relationship. Some certainly do, but just as many do not. I can only assume that attempts to make your expertise include maintaining one's identity while being part of a couple is really about reaching a wider audience, one that includes people in committed relationships as well as those who are truly single. That's fine, but please don't pretend I don't understand the difference between being single — which, to nearly everyone on this planet, means someone not in a committed, long-term relationship — and being in such a relationship yet healthy enough to retain one's identity. Aside: That it is healthy to keep one's identity in a committed, long-term relationship is not gaspworthy in 2020.
DEAR BLOGGER: Whether or not you're the blogger mentioned, your rather limited and outmoded understanding of singleness shows you to be a newcomer to this corner of singleworld. That said, let's have at it. Fact is, the widowhood that lured me into a life work led to the realization that each of us has a single core, our individuality, that needs expression and recognition in every form of relationship. I truly hope, friend, that you begin to understand that my focus on singleness goes beyond — way beyond — marital status and always has been a broader interpretation of "single." Each new generation needs to be reminded that their first responsibility is to themselves, and that no form of relationship must imperil their selfhood. Ever. Selfhood is the singleness that coexists seamlessly within any dyad, allowing it full and healthy expression. Now are you gasping for air?
DEAR SUSAN: People who've been married for years have come home to find their spouse has packed up and decamped. Getting married certainly doesn't prevent that from happening.
DEAR BLOGGER: If there's one eternal truth, it is that life holds few guarantees. Marriage is certainly not among them. Wedding rings have been known to be hocked and removed at will, as situation dictates. As for fidelity, well, it is only as pure as the person involved. A cheater will always cheat, guaranteed. It's a style of thinking, of getting through the day, of enjoying the tingling mischief of secret trysts. And so it will be until the last syllable of recorded time. A marriage license is merely a legalization, only as binding as the integrity of the people involved. Think about that the next time you feel helplessly, hopelessly in love. Time is the eternal watchman.
We've uncovered another treasure trove of "Single File" paperbacks - in perfect condition, signed by Susan, ready to enjoy. Send $15 and your address: Susan Deitz, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at [email protected]
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