All The Single Ladies: Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions
"Single File" - June 2022 Issue
by Susan Deitz
All The Single Ladies
Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions
Dear Susan: Last weekend, I had sex with a woman who’s just a friend. (She and I laughed and said it was “friends with benefits.”) But now she’s calling me regularly, asking when I’m coming to see her again. I feel so guilty. It was purely platonic on my part. She’s a nice girl, but honestly, it meant nothing. What should I do?
Dear Reader: It might have meant nothing to you, but it could have unlocked some hopes in her. (Deep sigh.) That’s the tricky part of this misnomer—it’s supposedly casual but rarely so. The hurtful part of the rutting we’ve come to label “casual” is that one of the partners usually brings into the bed a secret hope. They don’t dare express it, fearing their lover will fly the coop. They play the game, pretending the passion is shared, but what lies beneath is a yearning for the real thing. And if you suspect the pretender is usually female, you are correct. And so, the path of casual sex is littered with feminine yearning. The female is the one who proves that “casual sex” is an oxymoron. How can the joining of pulsing flesh be ho-hum casual? Think about it. Then call her and apologize.
Afraid of Men
Dear Susan: I admit it. I’m scared of men. You seem to have a handle on the subject, so give me a hint on how to get un-scared.
Dear Reader: It seems to me that the only way to get over a scare is to plunge into the thick of it. And so, hat in hand, I propose that you look through your address book (and your heart) for men you used to know or be involved with, people who used to be special to you for one reason or another. In other words, men you once felt a connection with, not necessarily romantic. Getting things started may not be easy at first, but in the end, former flames can ignite friendship quite easily. Your overture might be a humorous card or a phone call to say hello. (It’s not a good idea to phone a man who felt slighted by you.) Be sensitive to his healing process; it takes time to move from love to friendship. From all I know, former loves can in the end make faithful friends, though not everyone can make the shift. (Can YOU?) So, give it lots of time. And plenty of understanding. This one project could make you so much stronger, so much more understanding of the other sex. In the end, you may realize we’re all the same, with sensitivity and yearnings to be loved. That one realization changes everything, melts the fear, builds commonality. Women need to realize that men are not a different kind of mortal—they’re so much like us. After all, we’re fashioned from their rib, no? Men may have a different style, different ways of expressing their emotions, but style must not stand in the way of a deep relationship. Think about it.
Dear Readers: Self-doubt can spiral downward and become a way of life, which certainly limits one’s life terribly. But Marni Battista has trained professionally in noted institutes and recommends identifying doubts and asking yourself questions to help dispel this destructive part of human nature. She says that doubting yourself is human nature, but it shouldn’t keep you from doing the things you want to do, from questioning whether you merit a raise to whether you’re good enough to ask someone out. Here are the questions Marni says you can ask yourself to get to the bottom of your self-doubt.
1. Where did I learn this? Did someone say you weren’t smart? Is it because you had a hard time in a certain class? Or did you come up with it on your own?
2. How true is it really? More often than not, your belief isn’t rooted in fact but assumption! Maybe you assume you’re not so bright or beautiful because of one insignificant incident.
3. What is the unconscious gain? What is your self-doubt protecting you from? (This is a killer.) Maybe it’s really just a fear of taking risks and experiencing failure. Whoa. Answering these few questions can enable you to manage the worst of your doubts and achieve some much-needed confidence. Think about it, and then think about it some more. Then, write to me.