Single File - May 2022

All The Single Ladies: Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions

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SINGLE FILE - May 2022 Issue
by Susan Deitz

All The Single Ladies
Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions

A New Language
You don’t have to be single to be shy, but it’s more likely when your way of life pushes you to meet new people and make entrances ... solo. That’s why it’s so important to learn the language of SMALL TALK. (It merits capitals because it’s not so easy to learn.) Truth is it’s a totally new language for those of us who never inherited the gift of easy, flowing, not-very-important chatter. Which brings me back to a cringeworthy moment years ago at the United Nations in New York City when I was introduced to an old-time film legend and left alone with him. (If you must know, it was Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) I can still see the expression on my face—and his—as the two of us agonizingly croaked out sounds we hoped passed for conversation. Disaster!

If, like yours truly, you need to consciously cultivate the art of social glibness, reading the news every day (online or in hard copy) is key. Add to that, if possible, a subscription to a magazine that focuses on one of your interests. On weekends, make it a habit to write down the current subjects being bounced around by the media ... and store that list mentally for those awkward pauses. (Just knowing it’s on tap will raise your comfort level when you’re out and about.)

The keyword is: PREPARE! Knowing the current political scene is a must. You can have opinions on it, of course. But make it a point to know both sides, to be diplomatic. This is a different sort of homework, but now you’re out in the real world, playing with the big boys. The rules are different there, and the pot of gold is an activated mind and a relaxed aura. (It’s a whole lot easier to be gracious and real when you’ve done your homework.)

Try to take your mind off yourself and your discomfort and put it on your companion. Look directly at his or her eyes, and clear your mind of distracting thoughts so you can ask pertinent questions and keep the dialogue moving! It helps to remember that everyone is a bit shy. It’s just that some of us cover the fact better than others. No one is downgrading you because of your shyness! Not only that, most people are so busy getting their points across they are unaware of the other person’s shyness. It’s your secret, and working on it this way will make sure it’s under control and manageable.

Don’t be defensive. It’s not appropriate to divulge your deepest musings, of course, but honest opinions and comments are the hallmark of a confident, interesting person. Don’t be reluctant to say what you think.

When you’re stuck for a response, simply repeat another version of the last comment made to you. This tactic lets you stall while you’re thinking of something else to say. You can’t use the ploy too often, of course, but it’s a good one to have up your sleeve.

Above all, don’t reproach yourself for being shy. Keep your sense of humor. Some of us have more shy moments than others, but working the social circuit isn’t easy for anyone! For myself, I find a bit of shyness endearing.

Cougar Love:
Smart, Silly—or Both?

Dear Susan:
People shouldn’t get hung up on the age of one’s would-be partner; they should focus on whether they’re attracted to that person. It’s silly to expect all women (or men) in a given age group to think or act the same way. -- From the “Single File” blog

Dear Reader:
Be warned; this is one of my “yes, but” responses. Here goes. Yes, your point is well-taken and certainly valid. But (I told you it was coming) there are some powerful generalities to be made about youthful bedmates. The truth is that a young body with taut muscles is, in itself, a visual aphrodisiac. Complement that with a vigorous mind and the rest falls into place. The overriding rarity of young lovemaking is its energy. (Aging lovers who try to compete on that score are in for some negative consequences.) Oh -- one more thing: Youthful lovers are more adventurous, more experimental in bed. (There, I’ve said it, and I’m glad.) For those who are delighted to be past the highly sexual years, that is of no interest. But there are others...


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.. © 2022 CREATORS

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