DEAR SUSAN: There's only one winner in a race, but I think everyone can find someone if they really want to. Finding a mate isn't a competition; if you, fellow blogger, see countless others with someone alongside and you're always alone — but don't want to be — isn't that unfair? Hey, it's unfair that there are millionaires and I'm not one. Life is unfair. Everyone can find someone.
DEAR BLOGGER: Fair shmair. Jack Kennedy said it: "Life is unfair." As someone who spent his childhood in bed as a sickly young man (and had persistent health problems in adulthood), he recognized the unevenness of life. No, life (or fate, if you prefer) isn't at all even-handed. But I agree with you, my reader, that everyone can find someone if they really want to. The "really" means a willingness to overlook, to compromise, to do without less important qualities. (Old-world wisdom has it that the way to a happy marriage is to keep one eye shut and the other half-open. It's worth a try, no?) That's why you must know what you really NEED in a partner, as opposed to the silly little frills that are the nonessentials. I strongly suggest writing the two lists on paper so you can see for yourself the gap between the two. And I hope you take your insights to heart and follow through. Enough said.
DEAR SUSAN: I've just had a lousy experience with online dating. I am so turned off it isn't funny. I went and told all sorts of personal things about myself to a total stranger, thinking they were interested in knowing more about me, and it turned out to be a disaster. Never again, I tell myself. What do you hear about online dating? It hurts.
DEAR BLOGGER: Funny thing about online dating: It gets lots of attention and lots of buzz, but no one has quite figured out how to make it work for both people. One of them is called on to spill their guts; the other listens. The gut spiller is thereby weakened, the listener empowered. Think about that, online or offline. Don't bare your soul. No game playing, of course, but do keep some things shrouded — unsaid. There's a lot to you, so hold back. Give the listener time and space to react, respond. That way, the power of knowing the Other is shared. Neither person is in the position of telling all — to an unseen listener — and not seeing their reactions. It should — must — be a give-and-take situation. The same goes for in-person dating: no game playing, but hold back a little on your life story. Online or offline, a tinge of mystery is attractive — very. Enough said.
Though most people say they'd like extra layers of privacy online, they're doing very, very, VERY little to protect themselves. Yes, the results of online meetings are promising: It turns out 41% of people know someone who uses online dating, and 29% know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner online. But few people use the tools available to guard their privacy — email encryption or browser plug-ins. (Most users don't even know what a VPN is, including yours truly.) Nearly a quarter of users use unsecured public Wi-Fi, leaving their private lives wide open to prying eyes! So you're not alone in your disillusion. But smart cookies don't crumble. Do your research — plenty of it — into online protection. Write the information clearly so you can read it again when you choose to go back into the fray. (And, yes, I'm hoping you do return to online dating, warrior woman.) But then leave your computer and go outdoors into the world of sunshine and ease. Frolic. Laugh. Chuckle at this thing called romance. It's OK at times, but right now you need a cooling-off period. ere I went and tol things aBOUT mHHere
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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