Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
Frank Sinatra used to close his eyes and sing “Love is lovelier/The second time around.” But that was many, many decades ago, and even Frankie couldn’t have predicted the 21st century when people fall in love 5 or 10 times — or more — before finally settling down. Redundant Love takes its toll.
Sachi, 36, is beautiful, funny and charming. She has a pretty good job that doesn’t pay her a lot of money, but it has one great perk — it allows her to meet rich, successful men.
She’s dated a string of them. They’ve taken her to picturesque Portuguese fishing villages, sleepy little Caribbean islands and major European capitals. They’ve bought her a fur coat, assorted jewelry, innumerable meals as well as clothes, books, records, sporting equipment, posters and pets. They’ve sworn they loved her. They’ve introduced her to their mothers and taken her to family dinners. But not one wanted to marry her.
“Why? I’ve asked myself that a hundred times. What is it about me that no man has wanted to commit himself? Am I lacking in something fundamental, something that I’m not aware of but that’s apparent to every man that I date?
“I look at married women who are frumpy and physically undesirable, and they’re monochromatic and uninteresting, and they don’t seem unselfish and giving and I wonder, ‘How did they become such an integral part of a man’s life that he wanted to marry them and spend his life with them?’ I’m envious. They’re married and I date.”
Dating is not Sachi’s favorite activity. “When I think of dating, I think of Saturday night, not knowing what to wear, not knowing the person who’s going to pick you up, of taking a drink to calm your nerves. I’m so aware of how I’m responding. Am I laughing too loud? Am I laughing at the same places he’s laughing? Am I having a good enough time? Were the tickets expensive? Did I seem appreciative enough? Should I have a drink at intermission, or will he think I’m a gold-digger?”
Sachi is still hoping she’ll have her happy-ever-after. But there’s a problem. “Falling in love is so hard when you’re in your thirties. You start to analyze it all. When you’ve been in love a few times you start thinking of yourself as a used car. I started seeing a new man, and I called him ‘Honey.’ It was too soon, and I saw him cringe when I did it. It made me feel so cheap.
“I think I still have a little innocence left in me, and I don’t want to get cynical. I want to throw caution to the wind. Then there’s that little voice in my head saying, ‘Even if you buy him that gift, if you send him that card, if you write him that letter, it will still end.’ So why do it?”
“The truth is, I’m ashamed of being single. I hate the word. It makes me feel inadequate. The worst thing someone can say is, ‘How come you’re still not married?’ It’s like saying, ‘What’s wrong with you?’”
Are you single? Do you wish you were married? Are you married? Would you rather be single? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.