Oneitis is such an incredible ‘disease’ that it can overtake any man not in control of his emotions, that even the great singer and playboy Frank Sinatra fell to its devastating charms.
The moment a man becomes consumed with a woman, is the moment he loses her.
“Frank told Ava: ‘All my life, being a singer was the most important thing in the world. Now you’re all I want.’ ” (source)
Frank was no exception and this specific siren almost cost him his career.
The woman was none other than Ava Gardner and an experienced player can tell just by looking at her eyes that she was a black widow type. A woman who wouldn’t be ‘conquered’ and could turn any man’s life upside down. But who wouldn’t want this on their arm? If Frank fell for her charms, then I’m sure either you or I would have.
For this real life case of oneitis, I’ll break down some points from an article regarding their torrid romance and give you the game aspect of what he did wrong (and right).
Note: Under ‘Frank’s Game’ is my writing. Under the portions where it says ‘excerpt source’ is the article.
One night in 1948 he stood on the terrace of his Hollywood bachelor penthouse with his best friend, the songwriter Sammy Cahn, looking down over Sunset Strip.
‘Do you know that Ava Gardner lives down there?’ said Cahn, pointing to a little house nestled into the trees.
The name of the hot young film star stirred Sinatra. He had long lusted after her. With the kind of beauty that comes along once in a hundred years, she transfixed men and women alike. She took her pleasures as she found them — and she found them everywhere.
Cupping his hands to his mouth, he yelled ‘Ava … Ava Gardner!’ his big voice carrying far into the quiet evening. ‘We know you’re down there. Hello, Ava.’
The two men roared with laughter. And then a miracle. Down below, a curtain was drawn, a window opened and Ava stuck her head out. She knew exactly who it was. Sinatra’s voice was unmistakable. She grinned and waved.
Was it an accident that they ran into each other a few days later, in front of her place? And then again in the street? Frank wasn’t usually keen on walking but suddenly he was getting out a lot. The third time, they both began laughing as he said hello.
Ava’s eyes searched his. Was he following her? He met her gaze boldly. She put a hand on her shapely hip, provocatively. He spoke. ‘Ava, let’s be friends. Why don’t we have dinner tonight?’
Frank clearly used his fame as leverage to get women, as many stars do. There’s nothing wrong with that and you and I would do the same thing, however, from this portion of the article I want to point out what he did in order to get her out to dinner.
He toned DOWN his charm and fame, but becoming non-‘threatening’ in nature. He accomplished this by saying “Ava, let’s be friends. Why don’t we have dinner tonight?”. His goal was to get her out, clearly, but he knew coming on strong might scare her away. She knew he was married and she also knew his reputation for bedding women all over the world.
What this does is give her plausible deniability.
In a woman’s mind, they often need to justify something in the moment in order to not feel guilty about it, or in order to feel like it ‘just happened’ and that she had no control.
This is why it’s massively popular to invite a girl over to “watch Netflix and chill”, in which in her mind she knows the potential for sex is there, but she can justify going over and spending time alone with a man because “I had no idea anything would happen. We were just going to watch Netflix and then sex happened”.
The overall point is, is that as your player skills increase, you might actually have to tone down how strong you come across to girls. I’ve been guilty of this as well. Coming on too strong and too fast, when my high value was already apparent to her. I didn’t need to prove it, I could just be. Let that sink in for a moment, because if you’ve been getting girls making statements like, “You’re such a player, aren’t you?”, or, “You do this all the time, don’t you?”, then that’s a sign that you may be coming across almost too smooth.
The 1st Date
That night they went out drinking. Despite her stupendous looks, she had no confidence and alcohol, consumed in quantity, made her forget her deep self-doubt and feel glamorous, intelligent, desirable — a person worthy of the attentions of Frank Sinatra.
She had always had a thing for musicians but he was in a different league. His voice had a quality, she said, ‘I’d only heard in two other people — Judy Garland and Maria Callas. It made me want to cry for happiness, like a beautiful sunset or a boys’ choir singing Christmas carols’.
Now here she was, sitting with him, staring at him. Could she be in love? Frank took in her stare and told himself that here, for the first time in his life, was someone who instinctively knew him and all his secrets.
He took her hand (she kept stealing glances at his hands; they were beautiful) and led her to his car.
She swore her deepest oath to herself that she would not sleep with him.
And, indeed she didn’t. Not that night. They went to his apartment, kissed and he reached to unzip her dress. And though in most cases she was out of her clothes in a second, with him she hesitated.
She touched his arm and called him ‘Francis’. No one had ever done that before. Then he took her home.
Frank was smart and took her for drinks. This is Game 101. What’s not surprising is that he took her hand and led her to his car.
Gee, this sounds familiar.
ABL gentlemen: always be leading.
Now what about him not closing the first night?
Who knows the exact reason it didn’t happen, but Frank did everything in HIS power to close I would imagine. There are techniques one can use to close and deal with LMR, which I’ll be sharing soon, but regardless, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
My gut is that she knew she wanted him long-term and was determined to cocktease him until he was obsessed. This is common among siren types who know they are beautiful, know they can have any man they want and will make him jump through hoops before opening their legs.
The Red Flags
It was months before they saw each other again, but when they did Frank fell as fast as she did. In a flash, all his discontent alchemised into the most powerful emotion he had ever known.
This time they did make love, and, said Ava: ‘It was magic. We became lovers for ever, eternally. Big words, I know, but I truly felt that no matter what happened we would always be in love.’ Frank told Ava: ‘All my life, being a singer was the most important thing in the world. Now you’re all I want.’
He had, at last, found a true partner in the opera that was his life. All his other women had been supporting players, but Ava was a diva with a soul whose turbulence equalled his own. Both harboured profound feelings of worthlessness, which expressed themselves in volcanic furies.
‘We were high-strung people,’ she said. ‘Possessive, jealous and liable to explode fast. When I lose my temper, you can’t find it any place. He’s the same.’
Both had titanic appetites, for food, drink, cigarettes, diversion, companionship and sex. Both loved jazz. Both were politically liberal. Both were fascinated with prostitution and perversity. Both distrusted sleep, fearing it as death’s mirror. Both hated being alone.
Like him, she was infinitely restless and easily bored. In both, this tendency could lead to casual cruelty to others —and to each other.
They quarreled constantly.
Friends whose house the lovers met in recalled how Ava would scream at Frank and he would slam the door and storm downstairs.
‘Minutes later we’d smell sweet fragrance in the air. Ava had decided she wasn’t mad any more and so she sprayed the stairs with her perfume. Frank would smell it and race back up to the bedroom.’
There was lots of making-up sex, after which they nestled sweetly in each other’s arms and swore never to fight again. But the fact was that Frank and Ava were a permanently unstable compound and no amount of sex — no matter how spectacular — was sufficient to keep them bonded.
Or as Ava later confided: ‘The problems were never in bed. The problems would start on the way to the bidet.’
I get it. The sex was bomb and he got addicted. It’s happened to me, it’s probably happened to some of you, but damn if the red flags on this chick weren’t going off left and right.
The biggest red flag comes from Frank himself. He started to lose HIMSELF over this girl. The moment he said this, “All my life, being a singer was the most important thing in the world. Now you’re all I want.” he lost her.
I tweeted this the other day in fact, because it’s an inevitable law in relationships:
Chicks will always prefer your attention over you pursuing your goals, but the moment you give in, you lost em.
Frank was a once in a lifetime talent, a hard-working man who came from nothing to become world-famous and bless everyone with his voice. That does not happen unless a man is passionate about what he’s doing. Obviously Frank was letting her get in the way of that passion. This doesn’t mean that he couldn’t have dated her on the side and kept it under control (if his priorities were straight), but some women are bad news, period. The more experience a man gets dating and dealing with women, then they’ll start to see the signs and know deep down that this won’t be a girl they’ll be able to control themselves with.
The second biggest red flag, is that they were both jealous and possessive of each other. While learning how to make your girl a little jealous here and there is good (in small doses), taking it to the extreme will leave a man paranoid about her whereabouts and allowing himself to be ON the roller-coaster, instead of taking her on the roller-coaster. Once again, it’s about leading.
Lastly, a red flag that deserves its own category is this one: “she was infinitely restless and easily bored.”
This one is huge. Some girls act just like men, in that they are always looking for the next best thing and behave as such. We see that now more than ever with blatant public hypergamy, but if you notice a girl you’re dating is always acting unsatisfied and giving you that look (you experienced cats know what I’m talking about), then eject. Cut her out of your life, because no matter what you do, who you become, how much money you make, how big you get your muscles, she will not be happy.
She Sets Her Hooks
Ava had trouble with intimacy. When a man fell in love with her, she reciprocated for a little while, then she began to torment him.
‘With her acid tongue, she was ruthless with him,’ said one friend. ‘I was scared to death of her. I did what I could to stay out of her way.’ For Frank, the similarities with his bullying mother — who used to beat him but whose approval he constantly craved — were scary and exciting.
In their constant battles, jealousy was their emotional ammunition. Frank could trigger it in her with the blink of an eye, so conditioned was he to scanning any crowded party for gorgeous girls. She was convinced he was cheating on her, even when he wasn’t.
Meanwhile, he couldn’t get out of his mind the many other men there had been in her life. Out relaxing on a boat on a lake one day, Frank suddenly said to her: ‘I bet Howard Hughes has got a bigger boat than this. I suppose you wish you were out here with him.’
Ava retorted: ‘I don’t care if he owns the Queen Mary. I’m not sorry I’m not with him. So shut up.’ ‘Don’t tell me to shut up,’ Frank snarled. They were off again.
Despite the difficulties between them, after his divorce from Nancy the couple married.
‘We’re going to redecorate Frank’s home,’ Ava gushed. ‘I’m going to learn to make all his favourite dishes. Mama Sinatra has promised to send the recipes. Oh, it’s all so thrilling and wonderful! Mrs Frank Sinatra is the happiest girl in the world!’
And she was, sometimes. But at other times, as Sammy Cahn’s wife Gloria recalled, being with them ‘was like sitting on cracked eggs. You never knew if there were going to be verbal daggers. And Frank was so subservient to her. He was insane about that woman’.
But if it was hard work being married to Ava Gardner, it was just as tough being married to Frank Sinatra.
‘Neither gave an inch,’ a friend of Ava’s said, ‘though Frank worked harder on the marriage than she did. She’s a very selfish girl.’
It didn’t help that Frank’s career was on a downward spiral at the time — records not selling, films flopping — while hers was very much on the up. As a foul-mouthed facsimile of his mother, she was the dominant one in the relationship. As a sexual volcano, she ruled him in bed. And to top it all off, she was paying the bills while he struggled. The combination was corrosive.
She was not faithful, especially when she was away working. On location for a Western in the foothills of the Rockies, there was nothing to do but drink and have sex. Ava did a lot of the former and some of the latter with the stuntmen, and a little of both with the director.
‘Ava couldn’t be alone,’ said a production man on another of her film sets, ‘which is why she had so many affairs. She’d say: “Hey, come on, have a drink with me, I’m bored all by myself.” Then she’d bring back a prop man or whoever to her tent.’
She and Frank celebrated their first anniversary on their way to Africa where she was once again filming.
‘It was quite an occasion for me,’ she recalled. ‘I had been married twice before but never for a whole year.’ But it was increasingly obvious that this one wasn’t going to go the distance either.
They were forever breaking up, then getting back together. They would throw each other’s clothes, books and records out of the windows. The police had to be called more than once. The gossip columns had a field day, following their every move, tracking the time they spent together and apart.
Damn, where do I start. Since I can relate to becoming obsessed with a girl I had no business doing so with, I get where Frank was coming from. You don’t know what you don’t know. However, this is where his game went out the window. Note that a man can be great at one-night stand game, but terrible at relationship game.
The first problem is that she DID NOT RESPECT HIM.
If she does not respect you, then there can be NO relationship. Period. None. Nada. Dump her ass.
Frank clearly took the abuse and that’s when it started to really fall apart.
Another issue is his inferior comments regarding her exes. Listen up, if you can’t keep your mouth closed about her exes (to her), then dump her. If her past is that disturbing to you, then it’s time to let her go.
Never, ever, ever, a million times over never go on and on asking about her exes and comparing yourself to them. She will see through the insecurity fast as fuck and will lose respect for you, while also wondering if she made a mistake being with you, instead of staying with one of them.
How do I know this? From personal experience.
Then Frank nose-dived with his game into the proverbial dirt: he married her.
I understand back then it was more common for people to get married, but I wonder if he had a nagging feeling in his gut that it was a bad move and went ahead anyway…
You already know where this is going.
Everything that will collapse a marriage happened:
- Frank was subservient to her. Not going to work. The moment the woman becomes the ‘boss’ is the moment the marriage will lose its ‘life’.
- His professional career started to sputter. This is without a doubt due to him putting his focus on HER, instead of keeping it on HIMSELF. Always put YOUR goals first and let her accompany you on your journey in life. She is not the journey. Thus, due to his career sputtering, he started to have money issues. Guess who picked up the slack? Her. Talk about creating resentment in a woman! Become dependent on one and see how quick the relationship sours. For all the equality talk, women do NOT want to be the main breadwinners.
- She wasn’t faithful. There’s nothing I can say here, you get it.
Regardless, Frank’s game had ceased and he continued in the marriage. I also get this. When you’ve invested in something, or someone for a period of time, you want and need to be right about it. To pull back would be to admit you made a mistake, or chose the wrong girl, which can be a blow to a man’s ego. It’s good to have an ego (within reason), but if you’re ruled by your ego, then you will surely fall flat on your face.
She Shows Her True Colors
Of course, it couldn’t last. Cupid didn’t have enough arrows in his quiver for this pair. And when Ava eventually confided to friends that Frank could no longer satisfy her sexually, it was clear the glue that held them together was loosening.
Increasingly she signed up for work that took her away from him. In Europe — while Frank was back in the U.S. making From Here To Eternity, the film that would put his career back on track — she was pursuing Spain’s best-known bullfighter, Luis Miguel Dominguín, four years her junior.
‘I’ll never figure you broads out,’ her co-star Humphrey Bogart said. ‘Half the world’s female population would throw themselves at Frank’s feet and you are flouncing around with guys who wear capes and ballerina slippers.’
Two big reveals here: she badmouths him to her friends (and who knows if she was influenced by her friends as well) and she kept taking trips.
It is an absolute fact that if a girl is constantly with her friends and constantly looking for any reason NOT to be around you, she is at the very least, considering another man, or planning her exit route.
In modern terms I’ll break it down: if your chick is out clubbing every weekend and planning Vegas “it’s just a girls’ trip, what’s the big deal?!”, then your chick is out of control and she’s already cheated, or is planning on it. At the very least she doesn’t respect you enough to not do it. Either way, goodbye, adios, take care chica.
Frank began to panic as it dawned on him that they might be over. He couldn’t sleep. At five in the morning, he’d pour another whisky and rack his brains for a way to keep her.
He went berserk when he found out from a gossip column that she’d had a drink with his friend Peter Lawford. It was innocent, but he told Lawford he was sending somebody to break his legs. A friend who had to put up with his ranting said: ‘He’s driving me crazy! Ava, Ava, Ava! A billion broads in the world and he picks the one that can take or leave him!’
And leave him is what Ava did, blaming his infidelities. Later, she would say: ‘I was happier married to Frank than ever before. If I’d been willing to share him with other women we could have been happy.’
But, in reality, the break-up was her decision. In a desperate bid to keep her, he slit a wrist and was rushed semi-conscious to hospital. He imagined her at his bedside, her green eyes looking down on him.
But she didn’t come. Against medical advice, he discharged himself and flew to see her. Realising that playing the vulnerable boy wouldn’t work, he shrugged off the bandaged wrist as the result of an accident.
She smiled with relief — not that he was unharmed but because she’d been worried that, seeing him, she might be drawn back into a relationship.
He saw it. He was intuitive and especially attuned to the love of his life. As a boy, he had learned to watch his mother closely to figure out whether she was going to hug him or hit him. Later, he’d learned to watch Ava to see whether she was going to love him or leave him.
Now it was clear. She was leaving. The torrid Sinatra-Gardner romance was over. It was like the lyrics of a song he recorded soon after: ‘I could have told you she’d hurt you/She’d love you a while, then desert you.’
He sang it with all the pain and sadness of one who knew.
Well, he had none at this point. I didn’t even know this story about Frank, until doing some research about a month ago, but it strikes home with me because I went through very similar circumstances.
This is when Frank was gripped by oneitis to the extreme. He was obsessed with losing her and would do anything to keep her.
I’ve been there.
Maybe you’ve been there.
That icy cold feeling grips your chest and you feel a panic come across you. I once had a panic attack ON a plane on the runway and the pilot had to turn the plane around on the tarmac and drop me off. I couldn’t even fly for two days due to air regulations. That is simply having oneitis and being out of control.
Frank’s desperate attempts to get her back goes against everything we know to work with game, but he did refocus on his career and regained his success.
I’m sure it hurt him, probably even for life.
I’m sure he always looked at her as being the one who got away.
But maybe, just maybe, Frank took a long look in the mirror one night before performing and thought, ‘You are better off without her. You are better off without her”.
Oneitis can latch onto any many, no matter his social, or economic stature in this world. The only defense is knowing how to control your emotions, learning game and being wary of the wiles of some women.
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