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"He's 35 and he's never been married. What does that tell you?"

My good friend from college, Dani, came to visit me when I was living in Ohio. She’d been dating a friend of a friend, and it hadn’t been going well. I was 35 at the time, and she was 36.

“Why do you think he’s being so elusive?” I asked. “I know he likes you; I know he’s attracted to you. Does he just not want the same things you want?”

“Well, Coco, he’s 35 and he’s never been married. What does that tell you?” she replied in the sharpest of tones. She was looking at me straight on when she said it, not even thinking of how what she’d said applied squarely to me.

Somewhat taken aback, I said, “Well, I’m 35 and I’ve never been married.”

“Oh my gosh! That’s not what I meant!” she said, horrified at the possibility she had offended me.

I started laughing, then we both started laughing. And then I made us two more martinis, and we laughed some more.

We spent the evening talking about men and relationships and women and expectations and disappointments and all the stuff that goes along with being in your mid-30s and wanting to find love and happiness with the right partner. Over the course of that night, over the consumption of several martinis, we came to the conclusion that never having been married by the age of 35, or by any age for that matter, is no reflection on a person’s character.

Dani and I chatted by phone a couple of months ago. She’d just celebrated her fourteenth anniversary with her second husband. She knows I date, and she knows I date young men. Hell, I’ve written books on the subject! We’ve been closest of friends for more than forty years. We openly share the details of our lives.

On a lark, I smarted, “I’m 58 and I’ve never been married. What does that tell you?” And we laughed just as hard as we laughed 23 years ago. It was only too bad we were on the phone and not sitting together on my couch in my apartment in Dublin Ohio, or I would have made us martinis!



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