Just this morning I had another of those synchronicity moments I often experience in my life. I am starting to get used to these moments and accept them as they occur, rather than driving myself crazy trying to rationalize why these things happen and how. So, the topic of love has become one of the most common things that keeps coming up in the last two years for me. What I want to say is that the topic of love, even though always present through songs, movies and other forms of daily discussions, it did not captured my attention before as strongly as it did in the last two years. Something changed this time that made me very sensitive to this topic. Indeed, what changed was the view I was holding about love itself. It was a shocking revelation for me because I came to realize that true love exists and once it strikes you, it changes you forever. I realized that love can endure anything. I realized that love does not need years and years, and too many efforts to build up, or to start existing. I realized that love either is or is not there, right from the beginning of a relationship. You cannot fake it until you make when it comes to love, you cannot learn to love your partner, or grow into loving a partner, as we often hear people saying. These ideas we had before about love, are all wrong. I came to realize, above all, that these ideas are imposed to us by one typical Archetype, of a very narcissistic nature, which derives exactly because of his problems with sexuality, just as Freud correctly stated it in his theory about narcissism and personality. There is no more doubt about this in my mind now.

What we are constantly told and fed through morals and dogmas, is that one can create the right love relationship but one must commit to it first and must vow that will make it work, and then give it some time in order to allow room for love to grow. We are told that if we make our decisions too quickly we will come to regret these decisions later. While this is true for many other types of relationships, like business, colleagues, and friendships, this is not always true for love relationships. In fact the longer you wait the more you will convince yourself that you are with the right person, despite of the many things that you may find wrong in that relationship. It is simple psychology, it’s a fact that once you’ve made a choice about something, especially about your life partner, you will then do anything to prove yourself correct in front of others that this was the right choice for you. Who wants to be proved wrong, especially after so much time invested in a relationship, during which you permitted yourself to dream about the perfect life together with that partner?

We are also told to wait and sustain ourselves from having sex before marriage. Now you will see, as I am going to explain here soon that these ideas are induced in us with very sinister intentions. The truth of the matter is that if you did not have sex with that potential partner in the first few dates then 1)Either you do not find that individual attractive enough to be willing to lose yourself into his/her arms, or 2)You find him/her attractive but you are not sure if that is the right thing to do, because of the dogmas you had been fed so far. If the later is the reason then this is what will happen next. You will start making up some beautiful stories in your mind. You will start feeling sexually aroused every time you will think about this potential partner. These moments will feel so wonderful that you would not want to lose the fantasy world you created with him/her in your mind, even when in reality this partner starts showing some big flags. After you allowed yourself to make up such stories in your mind you would not want to believe that you two are not a good match. In fact you will start making up excuses for your partner’s behavior. All because you do not want to admit that you made the wrong decision. This difficulty in accepting that you were wrong comes from the fact that you waited too long to reach that conclusion. You will start feeling guilty at that point, but you would rather keep trying to make that relationship work even if that feels wrong, than to admit that it was a mistake and move on.

So this idea of waiting to start a relationship first, before deciding to sleep with a potential partner is pure manipulation. If you wait too long to make that decision, you are doing yourselves a disfavor not a favor. During the time that you waited for the relationship to become stronger, before jumping into bed to find out whether or not you too were a good fit in regards to sexually too, your minds have already started to make up erotic scenes by imagining and anticipating pleasant sexual encounters with that partner. Therefore, even if you discover later on that sex is not that great, you would have a hard time breaking up that relationship. You will either make up excuses, hoping that things may get better as time passes, or you will try to break but the offended partner will make it harder for you to do so, by making you feel guilty for ruining something “beautiful” you started to build up together. And this is the aim of Eros, the narcissistic Archetype, which finds pleasure in watching us humans feeling aroused by the stories that we ourselves create in our minds, always hoping that things may improve in our love relationships as time passes. I am assuming that this Archetype must not be capable of reaching climax on his own, and that is why he requires constant stimulation, otherwise what else could be a valid explanation for this entity, human or not human, superhuman or alien even, to find pleasure by watching others engage in sexual action, as he feeds them certain erotic sexual fantasies?

I recognize this Archetype’s deeds as Eros’s deeds, from the same pattern that follows in all these case,even though this Archetype does not use a name, or a face. Based on his deeds we can label him as Eros but that is not the only type this Archetype uses to manifest his deeds. He had assumed many roles of many other Archetypes in the past, like Hephaestus, or Apollo for example, but this would be another topic to discuss at another time.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I know this Archetype very well despite of the different names or different faces he may use, and not because I have ever seen his real face, or ever heard his voice, but I have seen how his deeds destroyed all my previous relationships. So, he may change his face and his name, he may even change his voice and the stories he uses to introduce himself to us through art and music, but rest assure that because of his narcissistic nature, this Archetype cannot help it but to present himself as our savior. I do not need his confession to know that it is this Archetype’s dirty deeds when people become obsessed with the idea of the perfect love or obsess over the perfect partner of their choice, because I realized in the past two years that love does not need to be perfect; it just needs to be real, and real is what makes love beautiful.

This Archetype is an ancient one, also previously known by the name Pan, and he also hunts for the most vulnerable beings, our children. He knows he can easily fool children by sending them sexual and erotic dreams and then he can watch them being sexually charged and in full action. Then he wants these children and youngsters to keep performing these sexual erotic acts, one story after the other, but without actually fulfilling their sexual desires with any real potential partner. It is for this reason that this Archetype thought of a strategy that would make people feel guilty for looking to fulfilling their sexual desires through contacts with another human individual. He makes it impossible for two youngsters to find one another and fulfill such needs. He does this by using the following three strategies: 1) He causes all the wrong people to be sexually obsessed with the individual of his choice which becomes his favorite target. This person, having met all the wrong partners, would give up at some point and would accept the one that would seems somehow better than the rest of the wrong choices. 2) He will make it seem as if this individual, his targeted individual, is not good enough and that’s why this individual is having a hard time attracting the right partner. Again in such cases, where freedom of choosing the right partner is limited to one or two choices only, the victim would submit to whatever choice will be presented to him or her at that moment, as a necessity to fulfilling one of the most basic physiological needs. Having sex and finding pleasure through sex and reaching climax is not wrong or shameful, and it is not a choice to do it or not. That is our basic function as a human being. In fact is the basic action of the whole nature and of the whole Universe. Everything in the universe is erotic in nature, because it is one of the most important functions to keep us alive, to keep reproducing ourselves to secure our own existence. Hence the third strategy this Archetype uses to limit our choices, (so we would not think of sex as human’s basic right but as a privilege instead, or as a choice), is to manipulate people’s minds into believing that sex before marriage is wrong. So there you have it, 3) This Archetype manipulates masses of people into believing that sex is a shameful act, and he did this for thousands of years by creating religions and dogmas.

I believe you can start seeing now the full picture of this Archetype’s intentions. Here, in the following are the three steps this Archetype follows to complete his dirty deeds.

1)Convinces people that they are committing sins while engaging into actions of fulfilling their sexual desires, which are as basic as the need for food, water and air.
2)These wrong beliefs are enforced through morals, norms of societies, cultures and religion.
3)People forced to suppress and hide their most basic needs would feel even more aroused due to the unfulfilled sexual desires. It is this the reason why this Archetype encourages the commitment through the institution of marriage, because once you make a vow while you committing to the wrong partner, you are now committed to a loveless relationship. As a result you will keep envisioning better erotic case scenarios in your mind than you would actually experience in real life. Hence you become this Archetype’s slave.

Doesn’t this three-step strategy remind you of the story of Bella and the Beast, or that of the Psyche and Eros? These stories are very similar indeed: First of all, both Bella and Psyche were having hard time finding the right partner, because there is always some bold guy who pursues them to marrying him, but that the girl keeps refusing to the point that she would rather prefer to become Beast’s slave and marrying the beast than marrying that arrogant boy. In Psyche’s story her father too is obligated to give her to an arranged marriage with a hairy Beast again just like Bella, due to the fact that no good enough husband was found for her among all the possible candidates, despite her exceptional beauty. Psyche too becomes the prisoner of her invisible husband. In most popular versions of Bella’s story played by Disney, the Beast turns into a handsome prince at the end, but in the original versions we see a different story developing between Bella and the Beast. In the original versions Bella kept refusing the Beast as she was convinced that Beast is holding a handsome prince prisoner, like her, in the same castle. This prince only comes to her in her dreams. In the parallel story of Psyche, she too wants to find out who her real husband is. In this story too, we do not see a peaceful ending between Psyche and Eros. Eros flees away to never be found, while Psyche falls into a deep sleep. This story also parallels the Greek story of Gaia who falls in deep sleep after Kronos cuts her connections with Uranus (in the sky). A handsome prince who is not the Beast but has been used by the beast is also present in Psyche’s story. When Psyche was brave enough to go against her husbands orders of never to see his face, she instead, dares to take a pic at his face while he was sleeping, and what she saw was not the Beast (of course) but an handsome prince. Just like the Beast in Bella’s story uses the handsome prince to keep Bella his slave by making her interested in this prince and wanting to save this prince, in the same manner in Psyche’s story, her invisible husband, but also some kind of beast, who also identifies himself as god Eros, send this handsome man to sleep with his wife every night, and he even impregnates her, but she has to obey to one condition, she must not see his face. Interesting isn’t it?

So what we can realize through such stories is that this Archetype always works in the same way, by following the same patterns, as he is not very creative after all. He cannot be. This is his shortcoming, and this is how one can tell that you are dealing with this particular Archetype, because he cannot create things on his own. He needs others’ help. And of course, this is to be expected since this Archetype’s problem is the difficulty in reaching climax. This indicates that his problem consists in the area of creativity, at the navel chakra, and this is why this Archetype lacks imagination, and why he needs this constant stimulation to feel alive.

With this Archetype always lurking around, confusing love with lust, switching the order of operation, from sex and if satisfied then building a relationship to the opposite order of build a relationship first, how can one tell whether one has found the true love and the right partner? What criteria must we use to clarify between real love and imaginary ideal love that we create in our minds? I found this answer in the last two days, and that is why I want to share it with you.

It all started after watching the premiere of movie Promise two days ago, and yesterday watching My Best Friend’s Wedding with Julia Roberts and later in the evening watched “Stop that Wedding,” on Women’s TV Channel. The topic of love and questions like, “How can you tell whether it is love or not? How long does it take for one to figure that out?” became burning questions in the last two days. Last night I could not even sleep. These doubts in my mind kept me awake. And I knew it was because of this Archetype that I started to have doubts again about what true love is, and how long one must wait to conclude whether one has found the right partner or not. I was able to answer these burning questions not only for myself and my special case, but also for everyone else who is still in search of true love, and here is how I did it.

After understanding this Archetype’s nature and the way he works, understanding his strategies in keeping people sexually aroused but never fully satisfied, which often leads to depression or expression of anger and aggression as Freud pointed out, I was led to another clue about this Archetype’s signature: The Mask. Could he be using a mask because this Archetype does not like to show his true face? or probably because he is very ugly like in the story of Bella and the Beast? or because he is very old like the ancient god Eros in the story of Psyche? or because he is not even human, maybe he is an alien of some sort? Who knows? Maybe all are correct, I would not be surprised, but the true reason why this Archetype often wears a mask when he invades his victim’s dreams and charge them with sexual and erotic ideas, is that he wants his victim to choose the face behind that mask, by letting this individual’s sexual fantasies to decide about the love object that will soon become his obsession in his or her mind. He let the victim choose the face because that would be the perfect way to keep the victim interested in a real love object, that seems possible but not quite possible. However, this is also the best way to hide his deeds, because it is the targeted victim who chooses a face behind the love object, not him. That face could be the face of a celebrity for example, or of one of the colleagues at work, or the face of the neighbor down the street. Age and gender do not even matter to this Archetypes for the scripts he creates for his victim to follow, because all that this Archetype wants is sexually aroused people obsessing over the wrong partners. This Mask strategy works so well for this Archetype because if anything goes wrong with these impossible love stories he scripted, no one can blame this Archetype. He left no tracks at all, because it was the victim that freely choose the image of their love object. This Archetype only helped them to become obsessed by constantly showing these images in their minds.

Being one of the victims of this Archetype I can tell you how it works. It feels as if the person you like is put inside your head. You will have the image of this person your mind, day and night, and you start believing that this must be a sign of true love. Then depending on the person’s individual characteristics each one will play this love game differently. Some would go even further and take bold steps into actually trying to contact their love object in order to make their fantasies come true. I am thankful that this young man was brave enough to do so 11 years ago and showed me what true love really feels like. But I wasn’t always lucky. My first experience on love relationships was a nightmare. Either this Archetype worked heavily on my first partner and as a result my relationship with that man was a complete disaster as he became so jealous and obsessed with idea of losing me,that I even felt that my life was in danger, or this man may have been half crazy already, and so it did not take much stimulation for him to go completely bonkers on me. He was obsessed with the idea that two people can fall in love if all other distractions are eliminated and they decide to stay committed to one another. By believing this idea he started to worry that if at my work I would be constantly in contact with other men, there was a possibility that I would fall in love with someone else and leave him. This is how he became super obsessive and came to visit me at the school I was teaching in any unexpected day or time. He was crazy enough to believe in the idea that if two people stare into each other’s eyes for a long enough time they would eventually fall in love. To such stupid declarations I answered in a bold way, letting him know that I could stare him in his eyes all day but I wasn’t going to fall in love with him and that is why I wanted to call the wedding off. He then gave me that dramatic performance by lying on the floor and crying like a child, begging me to never leave him. I felt sorry of course, and stayed in that abusive relationship for another couple of months until I decided to make the bold move and leave him just two weeks before the wedding, since he would never have agreed to call it off in a peaceful way.

As you can see this Archetype encourages ideas such as sex is a shameful act, or that any two people can fall in love and build a successful love relationship if they vow to one another that they will be committed to their relationship. If sometimes people try to get out of these unfortunate marriages they will be reminded of their moral obligations, promises, vows, norms and rules of society, what is or is not a moral thing to do, and so on. Through these morals, norms and religion this Archetype has you captured in his cage and he wants you mind locked into your sexual fantasies, as you obsess over them. No, no, no he does not want you to put a permanent face on your love object. He wants you to keep changing partners, faces, and the types of fantasies you play in your mind. The moment you lock yourself in a loveless marriage you will be constantly reminded of your duty to stay loyal to your partner. At this point, love is not important anymore, family than commitments are. But in reality relationships that are based on moral obligations or responsibilities and duties bring more unhappiness due to the lack of love in these relationships. Children raised in such intoxicating environments learn the same wrong ways of forcing others to love and appreciate them, believing that love can be forced. Hence, at this point all marriages turn into sex slave contracts, and you are obligated to perform the act of sex with your husband or wife in order to fulfill your obligations. Hence every bedroom turns into a brothel, where the act of sex is loveless, mechanical, and obligated. But try breaking that loveless marriage and people will rush to remind you of your commitments and promises you made. So he comes like the savior of the institutions of family and marriage, while in reality he is the one destroying them, because he allows two people who are completely wrong for one another to get married and stay married until death do them apart. In the mean while he would never allow two people who are truly in love with one another to get married or stay married. Something will always go wrong to those who truly love one another, like in the story of Romeo and Juliet for example. In the movie The Promise I watched the other day, the same idea was emphasized that two people deeply in love would never make it until the end, because they become hunted either by commitments and obligations, reminded of promises they must keep or one will die and sometimes both will die. True love somehow never wins due to this Archetype’s persecution.

In the other movie My best Friend’s Wedding, instead of a tragedy you see the triumph of true love, but that is a wishful thought of the person who wrote the script for the movie; it is not a real life story. Nevertheless, this movie teaches you something too, because through this movie you have the opportunity to see how this Archetype works. The three-step plan this Archetype always follows, plays out right from the very first scenes of this movie. You see this obsessive aggressive young girl Kimberly, played by Cameron Diaz, about to get married to the man of her dreams Michael O’Neal, played by Dermot Mulroney, but who despite the fact that she is gorgeous, somehow feels frightened by the presence of Michael’s best friend Julianne Potter, played by Julia Roberts. Kimberly feels frightened despite the fact that she does not lack confidence and does not suffer from low self-esteem. In contrary she has high self-esteem and expects others to notice and recognize her qualities too, which are the most common characteristics of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but Kimberly somehow is afraid of Julianne because she knows she could not live up to her fiance’s fantasies about his best friend. Why? That’s because Kimberly represents this Archetype herself, who wants to destroy any feelings of true love. She starts by using the tend-and-befriend approach, known as one of the most common ways women use to cope with stressful situations. Hence, Kimberly realizes that if she cannot fight Julianne, she can oblige her to be friends through which she would force the guilt feelings in Julianne’s consciousness in case she tries to break their wedding. Kimberly even reminds Julianne, right from the first moments they meet that the reason why she wants Julianne to be her maid of honor is because her fiance Michael talked so much about how Julianne stands for all the right things and moral things in life. Bingo! Archetype’s work at full force.

In the movie The Promise true love did not triumph though. I do not want to spoil it any further for those who have not watched this movie yet, but what I took from this movie is that despite the fact that this Archetype constantly persecutes true lovers, you can see that if there is a spark of love it is there right from the beginning of any relationship and it is seen in the scenes of this movie right from the moment that Anna and Michael meet each other for the first time. You notice that something very special is about to develop between the two. The body language, the seemly innocent excuses to be with one another, and how their eyes constantly follow and search for one another indicates that true love is irresistible and hard to prevent. If it is there, it is there right from the beginning.

This story of Ana and Michael in the movie Promise remained me of my Platonic love story many years ago. For years I thought that that one was my true love if we would have been given a chance. Last night I realized that I was wrong all these years; that that Platonic love affair was not my true love but instead was the work of this Archetype. Like Ana I was committed to a loveless relationship, I was in fact married at that time and husband was always drunk, always discussing out loud about politics as if he knew everything what was going on in the entire world, just like the character of Chris Myer, an American reporter, we see in the movie and with whom Ana is in relationship. I was indeed very unhappy with my married life too, like Ana was. And there was this young man, the perfect opportunity to help me escape my painful reality, just like Michael was for Ana. This man was there day and night, always helping me around the house, anything that needed to be done and fixed he could do it, while my husband was always busy drinking and being angry at politicians, or people who did not support his political views. But this man was there, always by my side, even standing up to my husband when he yelled at me for trying to discipline our daughter about her bed time routines. He was even younger than my husband, more handsome, more polite, and more attentive to my needs. I slowly, slowly, forced by these circumstances, started to imagine what it would be like to be his wife instead of the one I had married. I allowed these fantasies to play in my mind, and they grew stronger day after day, because of the convenient factors. Indeed as discussed in one of theories about attractiveness in Psychology, the three main factors that influence our attractiveness toward someone are: 1) Physical proximity, 2) Familiarity, and 3) Physical attractiveness. This guy fulfilled all three conditions. Hence, last night, I realized that this platonic love story I created in my mind 20 years ago, about this man, was never the true love, and would have never developed into true love either. Why am I sure of this now? First of all because somehow I knew that that love game through endless flirtatious gazing he constantly tempted me with was dangerous and it had to stop. For this reason I wrote him a letter. In this letter I started by explaining to him the difficult position and situation I was put at, and because of this I asked him to get the courage and let me know what his future plans were about us and if these plans involved eloping and breaking my marriage, and if not then that love gazing game he was playing had to stop immediately, as it was not serving us any good, and was becoming dangerous for both of us. Well, He did not stop the game, so I had to. I put an end to it by creating a story in my mind imagining him as a male prostitute, a homosexual even. This gave me enough motivation to erase all the previous erotic, love stories I created in my mind about this person. When all was cleared up from my mind, he was nothing more than a good friend to me. Hence, he was not my true love.

So, now was time to question whether this young man I meet 11 years ago, was my true love or not. Indeed I concluded that he was different from all the men I tried building love relationships in my life, and he was my true love. What tortured me however was this idea that true love is hard to find, so it cannot be found that easily, and as fast as it happened to me. Before, I believed that true love needed some hard work and some time to build up. After watching the movie “Stop that Wedding,” last night, all the doubts were cleared up in an instant. This movie was able to shed light into the last shadows lurking inside my consciousness, about whether what I experienced with that man was true love or not, because it happened really fast and I was not sure if true love can happen that fast. But, I know now that it can, and that that experience with that man 11 years ago was true love precisely because it happened really fast, which means I had no doubts about how I felt for him, and nothing was fabricated by my mind or in my mind by this Archetype. All the emotions we felt were real because I did not have time to feed my fantasy and then create these emotions. Emotions were felt first and then I kept repeating the same scenarios in my mind of those moments when we were together, without the need of making up any more erotic scenes in my mind, because my reality was much better than my imagination. Next time when love arrives again in my life, I know how true love feels like because I had a little glimpse of it 11 years ago. So now I am fully prepared to accept love and never doubt it again.

This morning as I could not sleep due to many questions I had in mind, and due to all the analyzing of facts that went on in my brain, I decided to take a break of all that thinking and decided to pick up a random book from the shelf from those I have not read yet. My attention was captured by Game Theory by Ken Binmore. I did not expect to find the answer to my question in that book too. In fact, I picked that book so I would distract myself from all that thinking about love, but no one can escape the synchronicity once it starts affecting your life. And thank goodness for that,truly, because it is leading me into the right path. And so, right from the very first pages of this book I found the best answer to my burning question, of how can one tell if it is true love? So here are some tips:
1)It is true love if it is not first fabricated in your mind. It is not you who imagined or visualized yourself with that particular partner.
2)Physical attractiveness is a must. In many successful love stories, even if these stories are short lived, partners look very much alike. They say that such lovers often look like the twin copies of one another. They have distinguished features that are very much alike in both partners who experience true love.
3)It takes only 6 dates (As mentioned in the movie Stop that Wedding) to realize whether he or she is the right partner for you. Why six? I came to the conclusion that what was stated in that movie may in fact be true, because if you cannot make a decision about how you feel for that partner in the first few dates, then it is not true love what you are experiencing. If you keep seeing this person more than 6 dates you will start feeling obligated to like him. Furthermore, if you did not already make a decision then something for sure tells you that he or she is not the right person, but the longer you wait to make that decision the bigger are the chances that this Archetype will start influencing you. He will start convincing you that you really must love that person, that’s because any mismatched relationship represents the best opportunity for this Archetype to keep people unsatisfied but sexually aroused.
4)And finally, here is the example that was shared in Game Theory book. Imagine someone giving you this opportunity to choose between two options: Either the relationship with this partner you think is true love or a winning lottery tickets of 50 million dollars. Which one of the two would you choose? How big is the risk you are willing to take to be with that person? Using this exercise I concluded that if it wasn’t for the misunderstandings regarding the degree of freedom we both had in choosing to be with one another, which were typically produced by norms and morals of our society where right is wrong and wrong is right, I would have chosen that man, and I will always choose that man, in any other circumstances. I would choose him, over and over, and over again, no matter how much poverty we may have to face by choosing to be with one another, or how many millions of dollars we may have to turn down for that reason. His presence in my life was the treasure and my winning lottery.

I am not exaggerating a bit if I tell you that his love was the most precious thing in my life. It saved me from useless erotic fantasies and unfulfilled sexual desires. It gave me a real love object to focus my attention on. Years past, and my memory is not that great. Plus we had very little time to remember each other’s faces, but despite all that, I could never forget how he made me feel. I replayed those moments and the way he kissed me, over and over and over again in my mind. That was a real thing, not a fantasy, not my imagination. This man was my savior because he gave me the confidence in myself that if I was good enough for him and he loved me and adored me like a precious gift, then I was good enough for any other man on Earth. That is why after I decided to let him go due to the fear that I was doing something unacceptable for the society and its norms, I finally summoned up my courage and decided to end up my loveless marriage I had myself tied up with. I did that because I realized the mistake I was making and how badly that mistake was about to influence my children. By submitting to a loveless marriage I was making the same mistake that my mother did when she taught me that love is not a feeling but an obligation, that love should be directed by reason and obligation, that love can be forced. She taught me all the opposites of what love truly was and she did this in the same way her mother taught her that love and feelings are not important at all, but fulfilling your wife’s obligations to your husband are more important. So when my mother complained that she could not fulfill her wife’s duties if my father continually threw complements to other women left and right, without censuring any of them, my grandmother advised my mother to imagine a handsome man riding on a white horse instead, and that would have been good enough to help her perform her duties. And I started to realize the pattern, and the influence of the same Archetype that had manipulated human race generations after generations, in giving us totally wrong ideas about love. So, knowing now how wrong my previous concept about love, marriage and relationships were, I decided to be a good example for my own children. Instead of teaching them unconditional submission to norms of society, culture and religion, I taught them to think and reason for themselves, and to make decisions by utilizing the heart and the brain, feelings and reason at the same time.

Yes, no doubts now that it was true love what this man felt for me too. I knew I was falling for him, but I was not sure about his feelings. First I thought I didn’t care how he felt. It wasn’t until the last minute, when we kissed for the last time, before saying goodbye, that I realized that he had started to fall in love with me too. As he held my face between his hands in a lovely gesture, looking at me as if I was the most precious thing in his life he asked, “I will see you again, right?” Puzzled that he felt compelled to ask me that question, I still answered carelessly, “Yes, of course you will.” But he continued, as if he had this premonition that something was about to happen, as in fact it did, “Promise you will see me again?”, “Promise!” I answered back. And that was the clue that ruined everything, because I realized at that moment, that the fact that he needed to be reassured that he would see me again, that indicated to me that he had fallen in love with me, in the same manner I had fallen in love with him, fast, intensely, passionately, immensely in love. Forced to believe I was doing the wrong thing morally, I decided to end that love story, right there and then, with the hope that I cut that love story soon enough before allowing those feelings to build into something much more serious and dangerous for the other obligations we both had. I believed those feelings would not survive time or distance. I thought he would forget about me. But I was wrong, and inexperienced. I did not know that once true love strikes you it changes you, but it also stays with you forever. I became who I am today, because of the way he loved me.

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