Untitled Document Dear Lucia,

I have been seeing this guy for a year-and-a-half. He is adamant he does not want a relationship, but sadly I have fallen in love with him. We see each other regularly, but it is behind closed doors as he reckons "Why should everybody else know our business."

I know the difference between lust and love, and in this case I know I’m in love. Friends tell me I should forget him but in order to do this one must want to and I don’t. I genuinely need this man in my life. —Olivia

Dear Olivia,

You’re right about one thing – you do need this man in your life. Unfortunately, you need him in the same way addicts need drugs. Why oh why do women insist on going against their nature and agree to a situation that they will not be able to sustain?

Like it or not, women are not built for sex only flings – at least not over a long period of time. Oxytocin, a natural bonding chemical starts to flow through your system and before you know it, you’re hooked. Dr. Helen Fisher PhD, author of Anatomy of Love writes, "The brain is primed to fall in love and get manipulated. Chemicals … saturate the emotional centers of the brain … make you go out of your mind with love."

I know you think you’re in love, but there can be no love without respect. How can you respect someone that is not willing to be seen with you in public? You’ve confused love with longing and now you’re involved in a civil war between your head and your heart. Even if you did love him, my response would be, "Yeah, but he doesn’t love you!"

What can you do? Is it possible to turn this into something more?

Generally, no! Once a guy has put you in the booty call category, that’s usually where you end up staying. It’s similar to when women put a guy into the "friend" category. How much of a chance does he have for becoming something more?

Having said that, one of my favorite quotes comes to mind: "The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken." It’s possible he’s become hooked without knowing it. While people want what they can’t have, and take for granted what they do have, they freak out when they are about to lose what they have gotten used to.

Many years ago I had a booty call. When it ended, I started to see someone else. One night my ex-booty call came over and I told him about the new guy. Well, never in a million years would I have expected his reaction. He started sobbing hysterically and blurted out, "I love you." Since I had always been available to him, he hadn’t realized how deep his feelings were, until I was no longer there for him.

My suggestion is that you start to date (not sleep with) other guys and slowly wean yourself off him. If you generally see him twice a week, cut it down to one. If it’s once a week, make it every 10 days. As you start to see other guys and are not as available to him, he will notice a change in you and say something. At that point, write to me again and we’ll take it from there.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Write to Lucia at: http://www.theartoflove.net.

Watch Lucia’s show, "The Art of Love," on West Hollywood Public Access (channel 36) on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 11 p.m.

The Art of Love is sponsored by: Twisted Elegance Boutique, 7407 and 7560 Melrose Ave.