Working women can get the blues Saturday night


October 09, 1994|By Niki Scott | Niki Scott,Universal Press Syndicate

It's Tuesday night; the phone hasn't rung. Wednesday night passes; no one calls. By Thursday, Melissa is in a panic, and by the time Friday rolls around, she's likely to behave in ways that make it hard for her to recognize herself.

"If I don't have a date for the weekend by Friday, I turn into some desperate woman I don't know -- batting my eyes and flirting with my customers, co-workers, sometimes even total strangers -- waiters, repairmen, clerks in stores, men standing next to me on the bus," she confessed.

It doesn't matter that her last four dates were with good-looking, fast-talking, self-centered, on-the-make creeps. Any date is better than no date at all.

I know at least a dozen single women and men who don't dread every dateless Saturday night. Here's some advice they offered when I told them about Melissa:

* Stop using the word "alone" to describe your uncoupled state. You're not alone, you're just not coupled! You have friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers in your life who care about you and with whom you can interact.

* Stop assuming that everyone who's coupled is having a better time -- a better life -- than you. Remember that the worst kind of loneliness is being with someone who's not the right someone. ** Unlike coupled people, you can choose the company you keep -- or choose not to keep it.

* Cultivate relationships with couples; you'll feel less isolated and more as if you're part of an extended family. Invite the couple next door over for a picnic on your apartment balcony. Ask a congenial co-worker if she and her husband would like to bring their children over for Sunday supper.

* Nurture your friendships. They're your lifeline -- give them the time and care and respect they deserve.

* Don't wait to be invited out. Nowadays it's perfectly acceptable for a woman to say, "I enjoy your company when we see each other. I wonder if you'd like to meet for dinner (drinks, coffee, a movie) this weekend -- my treat, of course?"

* Decide right now to find at least two new interests during the coming month. It doesn't matter what these are. What matters is that you enjoy and look forward to them. People with interests are interesting. People with no interest in anything but becoming coupled tend to spend a lot of Saturday nights home alone.

* Make a decision right now to take a hiatus from the dating game. You probably can't retreat to a monastery, but you can set six months or more aside to regroup, re-establish your priorities and get back in touch with yourself.

* Finally, remember that being uncoupled is not an inherently tragic state of affairs unless you turn it into one, and in this and every situation, an optimistic, positive attitude will get you further by far than a gloomy, pessimistic one.

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