Bonds of matrimony not for everyone

SINGLE FILE

April 24, 1994|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: I enjoy your column but would like to hear your comments about a seldom-addressed group: the never-marrieds. There are support groups for single dads and moms, the widowed, the disabled, religious singles, but what about us?

A: It takes guts to remain single in a society that is always prodding us to walk two by two. Of course, there are reasons for the choice, some of them circumstantial, others perhaps psychological. But your segment of the population is gaining favor (as is every other aspect of the single community, now more than 80 million strong) as society becomes less and less judgmental.

I believe that anyone can get married, if all they want is a gold band and a marriage certificate. It takes selectivity and patience, plus a little luck and timing, to find a relationship that will weather time and changes. Not all of us are cut out for the married life, just as not all of us are cut out for the parenting role. The challenge is to find the path most comfortable for you. Whose life is it, anyway?

Q: I am a DWM, 51, who would like to meet a woman to work into a relationship with, but am having trouble finding the right person. I've found that the majority of the women responding to my personal ad are really overweight, and this just isn't what I want. Is it in poor taste to place an ad and say I'm looking for a tall and slender woman? And what do I say when they call and say they are a little overweight but are trying to lose some pounds?

A: Taste is not the offender here. The object of the personal ad is to be as specific -- and honest -- as possible. That said, if someone who doesn't precisely fit your description calls you, it may still make good sense to get to know her because her inner self may be what you want.

Take your time getting to know her. You'd be surprised how many couples wind up with a partner they would never have described in an ad. Be flexible. The physical pull must be there, of course, but a few pounds here and there do not necessarily spell the death knell of allure.

Q: If I meet someone for the first time and there is no mutual attraction, or if I'm not attracted to her at all, what do I say as we leave? If the woman says to give her a call or indicates she will call me, what is proper to say?

A: Compassionate honesty is the best policy here. Say that you )) and she are not compatible, and that there would be no sense in a phone call to continue the relationship. Sugar coat the words with plenty of eye contact and a smile, but speak your piece. What you say may hurt at first, since it is rejection, but because you know each other so briefly, the sting will be soon gone and the grace of your honesty appreciated. Before choosing your words, put yourself in her shoes and say what you would want a woman in a similar situation to say to you.

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