Single File - October 2023

Stay or Go? It's Up to You!

SingleFile1122"Single File" - October 2023 Issue
by Susan Deitz


Dear Susan:

I've met a nice man via an online service and want to encourage him, but the man I've loved for the past three years is now back in my life. Both of them live thousands of miles from me, and that's part of the reason things weren't going well for man No. 1. And that's why at 39 I've decided it's time to start a man search. But am I making this too important?
— Carmela R., Long Island, New York

Dear Carmela:
You yourself already know the answer: a determined safari for a man—Anyman—has to end in despair. You've decided to get serious about love and men and all that, and that's fine. As it should be. But the choices/decisions are yours to make—yours alone. How can I tell you how important the miles are, when true love is shared? Here you are, being pursued by two eligibles, and you're not sure if it's all that important to choose between them. But as I muse on the situation, it occurs to me that if the miles did NOT exist between you and these candidates you might turn and run. Judging by your history, I'd say availability was the crux of the plot. You like to keep men at a distance (literally and figuratively) for safety, keeping real marital possibilities far from your door. Now that's really the important issue for you to think about.

Dear Susan:
Last fall, my boyfriend and I got our own apartments after living together for 4 and a half years. He was unhappy living with me and wanted his freedom. (He's 32, I'm 29.)

We see each other regularly. Neither of us has dated anyone else. I'd like to see others but haven't met anyone yet. I really don't know why I still see him. I want to get married someday; he says he'd like to live alone for the rest of his life. I wonder if I'm wasting my time. I'd hate to lose him as a friend, but I want to date others.

Is this reasonable? — Cameron D., Honolulu, Hawaii

Dear Cameron:
Reasonable, yes. Smart, no. You and your former roommate are on separate paths, and his is leading you to Nowheresville, far from the married state you crave. Yes, it's a wrench to split from someone who feels so comfortable to be with and who (I assume) continues to be your lover. But it's that connection that can keep you from finding someone who also wants marriage. I remember too well ending a long relationship that was going nowhere; it took my mother to end it. I ached for a long time, but I survived. She explained that being with him filled my need for love, so I didn't really look for anyone else. It wasn't until I made that painful amputation that I began to see other men as they were, discounting most but able to see them clearly.

I did meet my heart's delight one day and saw the wisdom of that decision that hurt so much. Take it from one who's been there: If he ain't going your way, wanting what you want from the relationship, suck up your courage and say bye-bye. It will hurt, yes, but one fine day you'll realize you've given yourself the gift of gifts: a future.


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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