Lucia is a dating and relationship expert, author, lecturer and host of the TV Show "The Art of Love".

With over 20 years experience on the relationship market, Lucia has dated men of all nationalities in six cities, four countries and two continents. Her practical know-how makes her the perfect candidate to dispense relationship advice – after all, in almost every dating dilemma she has been there, done that and lived to tell about it.

Dear Lucia,

I am 24 years old and I have gone through three rough relationships, the last one being the worst. I dated a single mother who cheated on me with her baby’s dad. After this happened, it was over.

It has been two years and I have not gone out with any women since. I’ve basically given up and often think that I need therapy. If I see someone I like, I just think negatively and don’t ask for her number or a date. What can I do to get my confidence back?

—Alone in Burbank

Dear Alone,

You’re too young to be so down on love. You had three relationships by the time you were 22 – I say that’s three too many. Your late teens and early 20s should be about having fun and keeping it light. You want to find out who you are and what you like.

Scientists at the National Institute of Health (NIH) campus at Bethesda, Md., recently found out that the part of the brain that weighs risks, makes judgments and controls impulsive behavior isn’t fully mature until age 25. This means you shouldn’t even be thinking about a serious relationship until your next birthday.

Since your last breakup was so devastating that you haven’t dated in two years, I would say some therapy would help. You’ll eventually get your confidence back, but use the experience from your previous liaisons to make better choices in the future.

Dear Lucia,

How do you get over a breakup when you’re in love with someone who isn’t in love with you? I don’t sleep around or drink, so I’d appreciate other options, please.

—Ann K.

Dear Ann,

I’m glad you don’t want to sleep around or drink. Most people associate the period after a breakup with destructive behavior. The fact that you’re heartbroken is already hurtful enough, why make things worse by abusing yourself?

I’ve always found that one of the best ways to get over someone is to focus on your work and career – take advantage of this alone time to concentrate on your professional goals. As things start happening for you, you’ll begin to feel better and, before you know it, your ex will not be the foremost thing on your mind.

Also, take this time to spend time with family and close friends. Get out, do things and try to have fun. Life must go on and you’ll survive.

Dear Lucia,

How long is the “rebound” period? I mean, how long does it usually take before a person can see someone else again seriously?

—Mary K.

Dear Mary,

I once read that for every year one is in a relationship, it takes two months to get over it. However, it once took me four months to get over someone I’d only gone out with for two months, so I don’t think there’s a formula. It depends on how deep your feelings for the person were and at what point the breakup occurred.

What I mean by this is that people often leave a relationship mentally and emotionally before they leave it physically. This is why people can sometimes jump into another situation right away and it works out.

I’d say that you should let your feelings be your guide. Don’t rush it; your heart will tell you when it’s ready to open up again. In the meantime, read the response to the previous letter because it applies to you too.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Watch Lucia’s show, “The Art of Love,” on the Adelphia East Valley Public Access Channel (24) on Wednesday, April 27 at 9:30 p.m.

“The Art of Love” is sponsored by JEWELTOPIA, 10873 Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles & located within the Glendale Galleria.

Write to Lucia at: