Single File - May 2024

Onlyness: To Be or Not to Be


"Single File" - May2024 Issue
by Susan Deitz


The Toss of a Coin
Yes, singleness gives the power of being in charge of your life, but what about the sadness we often feel? How do you explain it?

Being in total control of your life is the positive side of single life, but the flip side is there, too—a sad, gnawing realization that you're on your own. Onlyness, I call it. But—you suspected this was coming—don't think being coupled gives you total immunity from those down moments! They are very much part of the human condition, single and married. So when the blues come a-calling, it's your duty to remind yourself that singleness isn't a curse any more than being coupled is a guarantee of 24-hour bliss. Every honest relationship has its problems and its rough patches. But a couple who are best friends will put their heads and hearts together and jointly work things out—because they want to. Keeping an upbeat, realistic attitude toward themselves, each other and what they have together gives a healthy relationship very good odds for long-term survival.

But here you are, in a single patch, coming home to your quiet place each night, with more time to ruminate on your pangs of loneliness and self-pity. Definitely down time. But you can use your alone time to decorate your space, plan a bus trip to an art museum in the next town, phone your folks to hear their loving voices. These solo hours are yours, to spend as you see fit. They can be interesting, discovered hours. I promise you, time in your own company feels different when you are occupied and productive. Attitude transforms reality.

Hey, I never promised you a rose garden! The unmarried life is full of roadblocks, frustrations and challenges that meet you head-on. But being unattached also gives you freedom to latch on to interesting new opportunities as they come along. They'll have their snags—as most situations do—and some twists and turns. I'm asking that you put the emphasis on the opportunity rather than being mired in the problems. To emphasize the negatives—of the opportunities, of your singleness—while virtually ignoring your singleness's exciting open-endedness is to miss out on its huge promise.


The Last Hurdle to Successful Love
The days are waning when women make financial clout the main prerequisite for serious interest in a man. No longer economically second-class (if not financially whole, at least with more earning potential and hope than ever), women are asking something different from men. They're insisting their love interest recognize and actively nurture the identity and personhood they've struggled so long to define. For as much as women want the love of a good man—and they do—they're deeply concerned it will hinder their newly emerged personhood. Why? Because the only kind of loving they've known up to now asks—no, assumes—surrender of female identity. And they've come too far in their reclamation project to take any steps backward—even in the blessed name of love!

That's the dilemma surfacing as the No. 1 female fear—the very last significant hurdle to successful loving. Seeing as it's the female who defines romantic relating, and the female who sets its limits and its tone, it is only logical that she be the one to rock the love boat. From her bottomless dread of drowning in a man's needs, an insistence on partnership has surfaced. She's now strong enough to (happily) surrender the myths of security and savior and ask for—no, demand—a partner who is a nurturer, friend and ally. (Be afraid, male chauvinists. Be very afraid.)

Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 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 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Catapulted into single life as a young widow and single parent, Susan Deitz’s unusually deep understanding of her new world was about to be born, a course in undependence (her term for the wholeness needed for a full life) unlike any she had known at Smith College. Totally unprepared for life without a mate, her nights were battles with fear and the dreaded what-ifs. But when those tigers retreated, each new dawn found a more confident woman. On her own, living out her singleness, she was using her own judgment to make decisions for her little family—minor perhaps in the wider world but crucial for her small family. And they proved to be good ones. From those years of life lessons learned the hard way came a lifework and the world of Single File. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. © 2023 CREATORS

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