I went to Hawaii over the holidays. If you've never been, you absolutely have to go – it's the closest thing to heaven on earth. Being in such a beautiful and peaceful place reinforced something I already knew. It began in the plane on the way to Maui.

I chatted with the girl next to me and gave her my card. When she read what I did, she began to tell me about the relationship with her fiancé. She expressed to me her doubts that he was the right man for her.

Even though she's seven months pregnant and he's 40 years old, he still goes out in the evening to clubs, while she's home alone. She finished by saying that despite everything, she lived in a beautiful home with him.

I said to her: “If you're with the right person, it doesn't matter where you live.” You'd be happy to live in a hut, as long as you can be together. If you're with the wrong person, it also doesn't matter where you live – you still won't be happy.” She agreed.

This “Hut Test” stayed with me throughout my vacation in Maui and Honolulu. I was with a platonic friend and every day I wished I could have been there with a love interest.

Yes, the islands are exquisite and you can't help but have a great time in a place with perfect 80-degree temperatures every day, clean air, balmy breezes and a lush landscape. However, I realized that what gives a place its magic is the person you're with.

Everyone that visits Hawaii will have a different experience depending on who is there with them. I know it would not have been the same vacation if I had been there with someone I was romantically involved with. I have great memories of my trip and will never forget it, especially since I took so many photos, but I know it would have taken on a whole new meaning if I had been there with someone else.

This is why, especially after a breakup, a coffee shop, park or library suddenly takes on special meaning – because of the good memories associated with it. On the other hand, you could be in a 10 room mansion, a limo or on a private plane and if you are not particularly fond of the person you're with, then these places will not hold a special meaning for you.

If anything, they'll be reminders of what you don't have. You'll be there thinking about someone else you'd rather be with.

Take the Hut Test. If you had to, could you live in a hut with the person you're currently involved with? Would you live anywhere with them, go anywhere with them, as long as you could be together? Great! They're probably the one.

If not, if you have to be in luxurious circumstances in order to tolerate them, then it's very clear they're not for you. Is what you're getting by being with them worth what you're giving up – time and energy that could be better spent on other things or people? Time lost can never be gotten back.

As you become more “conscious” you'll begin to realize that to waste even one day is to not understand how valuable life is. Before you spend another minute in an unhappy situation, give yourself the Hut Test. One day you'll look back and be glad you did.

Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Write to Lucia at: www.theartoflove.net .

Watch Lucia's show, “The Art of Love,” on Time Warner Public Access (channel 24) on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m.