Personal-ad failures do not mean a life of loneliness


June 27, 1993|By SUSAN DEITZ

Q: I have taken your advice and have both answered and placed my own personal ad several times.

The first time, I met Mr. Right only to find out that he did not want a serious relationship. I tried again a year later (it took me a year to get over Mr. Right). I met someone else who also did not want anything meaningful.

Being someone who doesn't give up easily, I tried again and met someone who turned out to be married, even though I stated clearly in my ad "answer only if you are interested in a monogamous relationship possibly leading to marriage."

It seems men are only looking for a date and a good time. They have no intention of forming a lasting relationship when they place or answer personal ads. I have recently given up on the scene even though I find it hard to accept spending the rest of my life alone. It is a shame, too, because I have a lot to offer.

I guess some things are just not meant to be.

A: Now wait just a minute; there's a lot of wide-open space between the world of personal ads and a life spent alone and loveless.

Just because you've met creeps and marrieds through personals, you need not be pushed into the corner of the hopeless. Not at all. If one option doesn't pay off, try another. And another.

It's only when you give in to despair that all systems shut down. And you're far from that point. This might be a good time for a pause that refreshes: Dig into the rest of your singleness and see what it holds for you. Put men and dating on the back burner for a while . . . put your energy and time into other sources of fun and satisfaction. I dare you.

Q: In my early 30s, never married and not having a serious relationship in over two years, I meet many women to whom I am attracted for various reasons. Invariably, though, they either wear an engagement ring or in conversation mention the "B" word (boyfriend).

The question I've always wanted to ask these women (but would never dare ask) is: Have you ever thought about leaving your boyfriend/fiance and, if so, why? Having been on the receiving end of a breakup (she was dating another man while pondering my marriage proposal) and knowing how devastating that can be, I would never want to be the reason a woman did that to another man.

(By the way, after a year of therapy I realized she was repeating a pattern that has followed her throughout her dating years. By the time I was ready to commit, she was looking for a way out and found it in a man who had just lost his house and children in a messy divorce.)

I'm sure I'll meet the right woman some day. I've always wanted to ask that question and thought this would be a great way to do it anonymously.

A: Your question will be answered soon by everyone who has ever mentally strayed from a relationship.

I can only answer for myself, saying that, yes, even in love a disloyal thought has crossed my mind. But it was just that, a stray, momentary thought. But such passing thoughts mean little if they don't lead to action. (In my case, they led to a mild twinge of guilt and nothing more.)

And you will find that most people, even the most dedicated and in love, will from time to time contemplate being with another partner. What worries me is what lies behind the question that nags at you so. Why cling to a negative incident when you have followed it to its logical roots and therefore have defused its awful effects? Think about that . . . and stay tuned for the shock waves caused by your question.

Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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