Single File - January 2023

Single—Finding Interests and Filtering Friendships


"Single File" - January 2023 Issue
by Susan Deitz


Good & Bad Reasons to Have Sex

I read your book "Single File" a while back and now want to reread your list of good and bad reasons for having sex. Knowing more than I did then, I'm sure I will make some changes —From the ‘Single File’ Blog

Before we start, a broad smile of gratitude from this columnist for your willingness to take another look at your reasons for having sex; the willingness to rethink choices in such an important part of life shows growth and flexibility. Bravo!

After reading each reason, write "yes" or "no" next to it. Undecided takes extra time. You decide whether each is good or bad for you.
_______ You feel conflicted and unsure about the relationship.
_______ You want another date with him/her.
_______ You're tired of sleeping alone.
_______ Sex will ease your loneliness.
_______ Your partner threatens to end the relationship unless you have sex.
_______ It's been so long.
_______ It's the cool thing to do.
_______ To feel desirable.
_______ To gain security.
_______ To express your deepest feelings.
_______ Sex is your way of making up after a fight.
_______ For an ego boost.
_______ Your partner expects it.
_______ To put yourself in touch with another part of yourself.
_______ Sex is the culmination of caring between the two of you.
_______ Going without makes you cranky.

These are 100 percent guaranteed to bring regrets after sex:
• To gain a hold over your partner.
• You are physically drawn to the person but don't really like him/her.
• To get back at your parents.
• To win affection.
• To appease.
• To barter.
• To hide anger.
• To avoid intimacy(!)

Much to ponder, no?


It's gotten so bad I can't even open my mouth in the company of a man. Friends tease me about it, and my parents often join in, worried that I'll never have enough nerve to carry on a love relationship and get married. What's a shy girl to do?
—From the ‘Single File’ Blog

Dr. Philip Zimbardo, an acknowledged expert on shyness, says men and women suffer equally from shyness. The significant difference between them lies in society's rewards for their nervousness. Shy men, branded as wimps, often lose out in the competition for a desirable woman. Their counterparts are tacitly given society's seal of approval.

But your extreme shyness is something else again. You need to see the male as a friend, not an alien. You might start breaking down your barriers at work, perhaps speaking a few words to a male co-worker at the water cooler. Believe me; he's as interested in a few nice words with the other gender as you are. But someone has to say them, and my vote goes to you, in spite of your shyness (or because of it).

You are fed up with things as they are and want to make a change. That means you're ready to hear about Dr. Zimbardo’s finding (gleaned from his shyness clinics) that shyness comes from being overly I-centered. The remedy (no one's saying it's easy) is to take the focus of your interaction off yourself. Not easily done, but with time—and double scoops of practice—you'll find yourself feeling more comfortable with men, in the office, at your church, wherever. Work hard at thinking of men as friends, human like you, with the same need for good company. And consider joining a group that truly interests you, but also attracts men—a golf class, a cooking class, volunteer work. You might also ask your local library for Dr. Zimbardo’s books. He knows shyness.

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.

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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