Dear Lucia,

How do you know if he is “the one?” I’m 24 and he is 38. Does age cause any problems?


Dear Sunshine,

You’ve asked several important questions which I’ll address separately.

I don’t believe in “the one.” I know from experience there are several guys I would have been happy to make a commitment to.

This concept is more American than universal. In Europe they’re not walking around looking for a needle in a haystack. Besides, if you meet and marry “the one” and it doesn’t last, now what? Is life over?

I say, if you’re a better person as a result of this person being in your life and vice versa, that’s a pretty good indication that you should be together.

Age doesn’t necessarily cause a problem, but maturity does and I wouldn’t consider a 38-year-old man (or should I say, male, since not all males are men) who has enough in common with a 24-year-old to consider dating her seriously to be very mature.

Dear Lucia,

I found out my boyfriend cheated on me. I know it has not been the first time. I always find pictures of other girls in his camera, e-mails, tickets from dinners and movies. He won’t let me answer his house phone but when I called last week, another girl answered.

So I broke up with him but my trouble is that I cannot get used to not being with him. I know I did the right thing but I feel so attached to him that sometimes I want to go back. I know he won’t change. What can I do to stay strong?

I thought that it would be easy but it is not. I put up with it for years and I don’t want to feel the same. Our relationship was pretty serious. He is 33 and I’m 20. We’ve been together almost three years.


Dear Fabiola,

Before I knew your age, I was all ready to be sympathetic as I gave you my “not putting up with a cheater spiel.” However, given the fact that you’ve been with this guy since you were a teenager and you’re only 20, I say, it’s about time it ended!

Yours is a perfect example of why people should not be in committed relationships during their teens or early twenties. You haven’t formulated the strength of character that would allow you to walk away when you see that you’re not being treated correctly.

Instead, you’re upset over a guy 13 years older than you who was just using you. The consequence is that some of your innocence regarding relationships has been taken away and you now have what we call “baggage.”

Self-esteem can be defined as being impressed by your courage to do the right thing. The longer you stay, the less courage you demonstrate and the lower your self-esteem goes. The faster you leave, the higher your self-esteem goes.

I can promise you that the longer you stay away from him, the easier it will get. Right now you miss him because he was a big part of your daily routine. You need to replace him with something else that will occupy your time in a healthy way – working out, studying, spending more time with friends and family, etc.

Before you know it, you won’t miss him anymore and will be glad that you moved on.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Write to Lucia at: www.theartoflove.net.

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