How to Know if You`re Really in Love/stay together or break up


I have been with my boyfriend for almost two years now, and I am not sure if we should stay together or break up. He seems to think our relationship is great, and he says everyday how much he loves me. I have bad trust issues. There are certain things that he says that I am not sure I believe, and this is the reason I want to break up. First, he says I'm his first love, and he has never been in love before. He has had three long term relationships and he tells me that he didn't love them. He claims that he felt like he had to have sexual relationships and he felt pressured. He says he was lonely and was depressed up until he met me. He seems hurt when I tell him I don't believe him on this subject. Is he being truthful with this? I've read messages that he sent to his past girlfriends before he met me. He told her he loved her and hopes he is with her forever. I asked him about this message and he says he said that to shut her up and that he really didn't mean it at the time. Do I believe him? His close friends and relatives tell me how much he has changed ever since he met me. That he's "finally happy" and "finally met his true love", i feel like they are just making me feel better. So should I believe him when he tells me I am his first love and his first for everything? I told him I don't care if he has had another love before me and that I just want the truth. He get offended, and wishes I would believe him. Other than this he doesn't lie to me and is always true to his word. But on this topic, it makes me feel like he may be lieing, im not sure why. Should I trust him and what he says to me, should I keep confronting him, or break up? Is it possible for him to really have felt and gone through what he says he did?

Dear Sisina,

I am going to record an answer for you on Sound Cloud this evening. I will not use your name. I will make it so you can hear this answer again and again.

For now, realize this:

1. All that matters is whether you love each other. If he truly loves you, how he loved others means nothing and is no prediction of what will happen between you both, unless he has major issues. Is he a healthy person?

2. The past is a fantasy. It truly does not exist except in your memory or his, and that is not accurate and gets worse and worse in a negative mindset. Professionals like Dr. Phil say past behavior is a good prediction of future behavior, but for the past to be repeated, everything would have to be the same. I can tell you right now, that if you are doubting him and he has not done anything wrong, you are off to a bad start. In that case, you are what is possibly going to cause a repeat of his past.

3. It is quite common for people to say they never loved before, once they have met the love of their lives. I do it. I love my ex more than I have ever loved anyone, because, (1) the past is gone and only the present is real, so what I feel now about her is the only reality, and (2) I have grown and the world has changed, and so have my interests and values and maturity and strengths and needs.

4. Perhaps this should have been number 1; You said you have trust issues. This is your biggest challenge, my new friend. Love is chance, attraction, inspiration, work, cooperation, compromise, sacrifice, rules to live by, affection, caring, giving, trust, responsibility, and hope. It is not a contract between perfect people in perfect situations, with perfect clarity and guarantees. That does not exist, and if it did, it would not be love, it would be science, or business, or politics. Love, is an art.  

How to Know if You`re Really in Love

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Mando (Carl Atteniese Jr.)


I've read, thought, written, and taught about love for over eleven years. I've had thoughtful love-oriented relationships only--for about twenty-eight years. I struggle endlessly to be a supremely thoughtful, compassionate, fair, and empirical thinker. This is crucial. I believe in the feeling and process of love. This is also crucial. As an artist, a poet, and an essayist--as a teacher of ESL in other cultures--I have had ample opportunity for the analysis of love... personally and inter-culturally, and this has made my introspection and analysis of relationships--with original ideas and those of my favorite psychotherapists--very fruitful. I will tell you three things, which will help you now--before you even write to me: To have true love in yourself and with another, you must: 1. Be Free. 2. Be Adult. 3. Be Honest. 4. Be Disciplined. 5. Find numbers 3~5 easy, because you are overcome with love. 6. Be willing to do virtually anything reasonable (and many things unreasonable from the point of view of others).7. Never settle (in other words, be with someone you do not love), thinking that you will grow into love. 8. Never take a match made by another; your heart and mind must choose your love--period. 9. Never allow yourself to be put into temptation--ever (this is also natural--if you are in love). 10. Be able to listen like you never listened before--to yourself and to your beloved. 11. Love humanity--both the conditions & qualities, and all people.


I've been fortunate to have helped many people around the world and I love to do it. I will be happy to help you, too--no matter whom you are. If I am busy or unable to help you right away, consider these books to help you help yourself--until I can respond: "Being Happy", by Andrew Mathews; any books by Dr. Wayne Dyer; "The Art of Loving", by Dr. Erich Fromm; "Love", by Leo Buscaglia, "True Love", and "Anger", both by Thich Nhat Hanh. Also Read "The Beloved" and "The Prophet", both by Khalil Gibran. Read "The Road Less Traveled" and "People of The Lie", both by Dr. M. Scott Peck.... Learn more about me at

Amnesty International Partner of Conscience (, Union of Concerned Scientists ( and (htp://

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Certificates in recognizing violence in the home and child abuse, in preventing violence in school. Raised with an emphasis on loving all people and to be politically active. Studied Zen at Hwa Gye Sa Temple, Han Maum Zen & Culture Center, and The Buddhist English Library of Seoul, in South Korea. Taught seventeen years in the US and South Korea. Teacher Training in the U.S. at Berlitz and the Center for English Studies, NYC, and at Inlingua, Princeton. Studied Drawing, Photography, and Painting at the School of Visual Arts, NYC, and basic Psychology at Nassau Community College, Long Island. Fifteen years of experience teaching English as a Second language--many of those years abroad--has helped as well, as people from other cultures help us see ourselves and other human beings in a different light.

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My reward is knowing I have helped people.

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I have taught and counseled people of all ages, experience-levels, professions and religions, and consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity and thankful to those who have shared with me. Every such interaction is a learning experience, and an opportunity for growth and improvement.

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