DEAR SUSAN: You were one of the very first people to respect singles as responsible and trustworthy members of society. Now that they have achieved majority status in this country, has your devotion to us changed in any way?
DEAR BLOGGER: If there's been any change in my devotion to the unmarried, it's been a deeper tilt toward the universality of the single core. More and more couples — many of them married — are convinced that melting personhood into their romantic relationship is a sure way to lose the spark that first drew them together. And so, they are making a conscious effort to bring their individuality with them into wedded bliss. Temporary, short-lived separation, once the sign of marital distress, is now being recognized as signaling mutually agreed-upon "single spaces" within even the most compatible twosome. Lovers are embracing the wisdom of a spaced relationship, coming around to believe that the partners in even the closest relationships need occasional timeouts. (In fact, they may need them more than others). In yet another experiment by the unmarried, the success of retaining one's individuality while in a coupled situation may turn out to be a hugely compelling factor in longtime marriages built on mutual love but in need of the spark of separation. (Hint: My "Exercises in Singleness" are designed to do just that.) So, yes, my devotion to the single world is even deeper — and more inclusive.
DEAR SUSAN: "The next time you go for a walk alone, deliberately go by a playground and observe the children at play." That's your advice, but probably not such good advice. Kind of creepy.
DEAR BLOGGER: How about quoting the rest of my advice? And I quote: "Observe how children at play don't concern themselves with their separateness/singleness but go about their work (playing) as themselves, ignoring their insularity." The Deitz advice you quoted is pointedly asking single people not to see themselves as single first and foremost but to make their single status incidental when considering the bigger picture of themselves. The Deitz advice meant to be gleaned from the partial quotation you cite is just that: Seeing oneself as a whole person makes your unmarried status quite incidental. Any creepiness is personal, wholly read into my words by a creepy reader, supplied strictly by the reader. (Ahem.)
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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