Being Single Makes You Complete - Part 2


The One Thing I Hated in Life is the Only Thing That Could Bring Me Happiness

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


In Part 1, we looked at how singleness was the only way I could have what I truly craved: a sense of wholeness and completion.

In his book, The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday uses the Roman philosophy of stoicism to teach the idea that the problem is actually the solution.  In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius (a noted stoic) writes, “The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Let’s say you’re unemployed and can’t find a job.  Your lack of income forces you to get creative, so you bake some of your grandmother’s chocolate cupcakes and sell them for $1 each.  The cupcakes are such a hit, you take the money and buy more ingredients for more cupcakes.  The more you sell, the more the word spreads about your amazing cupcakes.  Before long, you have enough business to open...

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Being Single Makes You Complete - Part 1


How The One Thing I Hated Gave Me What I Wanted Most

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


For years, I struggled with feelings of not being complete or whole.  

I’ve always wanted to be married and have a family, so being single has always left a huge void in my life.  When you desire a husband and children, getting a dog or babysitting for friends just isn’t an acceptable substitute.

Even though I knew intellectually that I didn’t need a man to complete me, I want what women are biologically programmed to want: a partner and a family.  Friends, volunteer work, and pets just don’t fill that need.  They can be a lovely distraction, but they’re not the same as a husband and a family of one’s own.

Meanwhile, I found something interesting in James 1:2-4.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must...

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Be Feminine


But Only If You Want a Man!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


A friend of mine in one of my online dating groups was lamenting her poor luck with online dating.  She is 55 and hasn’t been asked out on any dates at all.

After looking at her profile photo, a few of us commented that her short, grey hair, glasses, and no makeup is probably keeping her dateless.  Her response to this was that she probably just needed to give up on love and get used to being alone.

Hold it!

Whether or not we like this, it is a biological fact (and a truth of evolutionary psychology) that men value youth and beauty.  It has to do with a man’s DNA knowing that a young, attractive woman has a better chance of having many healthy children.  Even men who have had vasectomies value youth and beauty.  Even gay men value youth and “beauty”in other men.

In the same way that women are programmed to value resources and provision in a man, men value youth and...

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Forgive Your Parents


They Probably Did the Best They Could

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


Most of us can look back on something our parents did - or didn’t - do and wish it had been different.

My mom confided to me recently that watching my brother and his wife raise their two children is very different from the way she and my dad raised us.  

“We just didn’t know what you know now,” she said.  “We followed the most current advice and the best practices at the time, but now there’s so much more knowledge and information I wish we’d had.”

It’s true.  Forty years later, people raise their children differently than many of us were raised.

Maybe you don’t have any issues about how you were raised - that’s great.  This may not be for you, or you may be able to apply it to another situation in your life.

I’ve had a number of men complain about women’s baggage - it’s the bitterness and the drama they are...

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Be A Good Friend



Free Your Friends By Detaching

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


I think we’ve all had the experience of the friend who gets a new man, then you don’t hear from her unless he’s out of town or they break up.

If you’re like most of us, maybe you’ve been that friend!  In my younger days, I would ditch a friend to accept a last-minute date with a guy.  Or, I’d go on a date even if I was sick with a terrible cold, but cancel on a girlfriend because I was tired or just “didn’t feel like” going.

It is completely natural to want to spend every possible moment with your Mr. Right.  It’s easy to let your friendships slip away and just focus in on your beloved.  Part of that is how we’re wired as women, but we also need our girlfriends!  And not just the ones we double date with!

What if you and your beloved break up?  Many times, the couple you hung out with feel like they have to choose...

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Be A Lady - Part 2


Ladies Inspire Others!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

This is the second part of our Be A Lady series. Click here to read Part 1.

A lady takes care of herself.  Ladies don’t shlump around town in their sweats.  They wouldn’t be caught running out for a quick coffee in their ratty t-shirt and pajama pants. 

I recently saw a photo of a movie star wearing paint-splattered jeans.  And not in an haute-couture kind of paint-splattered style.  They were old, paint-splattered jeans.  Not cute, and not flattering.  Those may be fine for when you’re home (painting), but when you go out, throw on a pair of well-fitting leggings or skinny jeans.

I used to NEVER leave my house in anything lower than a 3-inch heel.  Today, I’d rather wear my cute Vans (hello, leopard print!) or my ballerina flats, or my clean, cute sneakers.  Even if I’m wearing what I’ll wear to my yoga class later, my outfit is clean, cute, and...

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Be A Lady - Part 1


Ladies Aren’t Doormats!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


I know times are always a-changin’, but one thing I believe never goes out of style: acting like a lady.

You wouldn’t know it looking at today’s “influencers.”  Many of our “style icons” bombard us with attacks on others, in-your-face cleavage and body parts, f-bombs, and newsfeeds full of shade and negativity.

But when I look at great ladies in the past - Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy - I’m reminded of the charm, elegance, and grace that ladylike behavior contributes to any environment.  

Some of my modern-day inspiration for ladylike charm comes from people like Kate Middleton, Amal Clooney, and Queen Letizia of Spain.

I’m far from perfect, but I’ve come up with a few points I believe describe a lady.

But, first: what is a lady NOT?

The word “lady” may conjure up an image of a helpless damsel dropping her...

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Listen to Your Gut


 It’s ALWAYS Right

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


In the TV show, “Scandal,” Olivia Pope used to brag that she trusted her gut because it was never wrong.

The good news is, gut accuracy isn’t a trait reserved for fictional heroines or “lucky” women.

We ALL have intuition that exists to serve us - men have it, but women are able to access our intuition more quickly.  Our problem is that we will frequently talk ourselves out of listening because sometimes our gut’s direction doesn’t make logical sense, or we feel “mean” about following it.

There’s a line in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that goes something like, “People are more worried about offending someone else than they are about their own safety.”  The consequences of that can be deadly, and not just in the movies.

Whenever I have ignored my gut, I regretted it.  Every.  Single.  Time.  At work, in...

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Build It Right


 There are No Shortcuts in Successful Relationships

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


Recently some houses were constructed along the route I typically take to the gym.  It seemed like they were fully built in record time - going from foundation to ready in under 2 months.

As a former homeowner, I know the importance of what you CAN’T see in a home.  Sure, the beautiful countertops, floor tiles, and fixtures are exciting, but if your foundation, plumbing, and electrical systems aren’t up-to-par, you are in for years of expensive problems.

This morning there was a letter to “Dear Abby” in the newspaper (yes, I still read a daily newspaper).  The writer was a woman saying she got involved with a coworker - their affair was fast and furious.  She became pregnant, so they chose to move in together to coparent their child.  The problem: they detest each other and do not agree on anything related to their relationship or life together....

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Dealing with Shady Guys


Things Aren’t Always Cooler in the Shade

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


One of my girlfriends recently had an experience that we can all benefit from.

One of her neighbors was being very flirty with her.  He was bringing the compliments and the sweet words, and eventually asked her to dinner.  She found him very attractive and she liked his personality.  Except for one thing:  he’s married.

The only way she suspected this was because when he was moving in a few months ago, a woman was helping him.

He is in town on a work assignment that will last months.

When he asked her out, she asked if he is married.  “Separated,” he answered.

OK - stop here.

One thing you need to know about shady guys is that they will play semantics and split hairs, all while justifying that they aren’t lying to you (omitting key information is fine, though).  

In this case, I’m sure he meant “separated,” as in: we’re living...

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