Dear Lucia,

You answered my letter in the March 22nd issue of Campus Circle . I followed your advice and I backed off completely. We ended up having a big blow out three months ago. He IM'ed me and said that he's not the man for me, and that I needed to move on and find happiness. And that's just what I did.

I completely stopped calling and IM'ing him. Every once in a while he would IM me, and I would give friendly yet very short answers. I busied myself with friends and family. Before long, I was thinking about him less and less. I was finally getting over him.

After one and a half months of not seeing him, he called me one night when I was out with my girlfriends. He asked if what I meant by a commitment was being his girlfriend, settling down, being a family, buying a house and getting married. I said it was.

He burst into tears on the phone. He said he was ready to commit to me and that he missed me so much that every time he saw a car like mine, he would see me in it and get sad.

I had my girlfriends drop me off at his place and we talked for hours. He said that he was in love with me. He realized that I had always stood by his side, despite everything he had put me through. He apologized for the way he had talked to me and treated me.

He is getting out of the Marines at the end of this month, and was offered a great job two states away. I told him that I didn't want him to go, but that I would respect whatever decision he made. Last week he turned down the job, and he said I'm part of the reason why he did!

Things have been so wonderful. He tells me all the time that he loves me, has no problem calling me his girlfriend to other people and actually spends hours on the phone talking to me now. (He never spent over two minutes talking to me before.)

I can honestly say that I am so happy with him. I wanted to thank you for your advice. I backed off like you said to, and now things are great! Keep up the good work!

—A big fan, Confused (not anymore)

Dear Confused,

Wow. I am so happy for you. Each week I sit at my computer to write the next column, and I have no idea how many people will read it or the effect it will have on those who do. Your story is a big inspiration to everyone who is in a similar situation and doesn't know what to do.

Often, our instinct is to stick around and try to convince the other person to change their mind. As usual, actions speak louder than words. People don't respond to words as much as they do to “no contact.” When you are no longer around, they experience what the truth of the situation is.

If they have strong feelings for you, your silence will ring loudly in their ears. Most people are afraid to back away, for fear that the other person doesn't care that much and will move on; however, if that's the truth, it's better to know sooner rather than later.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Write to Lucia at: .

Watch Lucia's show, “The Art of Love,” on West Hollywood Public Access (channel 36) on Monday June 19 at 10:30 p.m. The topic: Are They Good in Bed?

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