I'm a Brazilian girl -- why do I fall for French and Italian guys?

I'd been hurt before -- but then it happened: An amazing married Italian!

Published December 21, 2006 11:22AM (EST)

Dear Cary,

I'm a 30-year-old Brazilian girl who had an amazing love story with a French guy that finished three years ago. It was romantic, something cinematographic, but ... with a bad end.

I spent two years in sorrow and in a little depression. Until it happened.

It happened in the beginning of November. I met a guy who, again, was not from here. I know that this kind of transatlantic love is always doomed. Even so...

He was in my town for two weeks. On the same night that we met, we went for a drink and stayed together until his departure.

It was unbelievably intense. I felt comfortable with him from the first. He was tender, loving, exciting, fascinating -- and from day two he started to tell me that he loved me.

I'm very down-to-earth. I had in mind that we had only a few days together, and after that it was over. But he had this talent to tell me everything I want to hear and things that I never dream of.

So I believed in everything.

And now he tells me that he loves me and adores me but does not have any intention to live with someone again in his life. For me is impossible to love someone and not desire to live with this person.

He "wants to live without plans or rules." But he lives with his wife in Italy...

He swears that his feelings toward me are true and honest. But I'm thinking that he's a cruel narcissist.

I would never say to anyone all the stuff that he told me if I didn't have any intentions with this person.

So I told him that I don't want to hear any more "I love you's" from someone who doesn't have any desire to live with me.

But now I'm confused.

To keep this relation with e-mails and webcams without any hope for the future is painful. Truly painful. To cut all connection is also horrible. I'm desperately in love with him, and I don't know if I made the right choice. Should I try to accept his conditions and live without any hope? Or should I move on and try to forget him?

Lost in Translation

(Sorry about my English!)

Dear Lost in Translation,

I think you should move on and try to forget him. This Italian guy wants to have his wife and keep you on the side.

But how, you ask, could he say those things and not mean them? The truth is, he does mean them. That is, he really does feel the way he feels. When he is acting out his feelings, they are genuine -- and in that sense, if you follow me, he is not acting.

But he is an actor in this way: He is wrapped up in the feeling; he cannot afford to think about whether the things he feels are possible or not, or whether what he says makes sense. He is not thinking about the fact that if he is married and living with his wife in Italy, he cannot come and live with you in Brazil. He feels what he feels and he expresses it.

The crucial thing is this: He may feel love for you, but he doesn't feel responsible for what happens to you. He feels love but not commitment. He's not responsible! Rather, love -- and you! -- are responsible! Love comes along and makes complications in life! That is how the romantic sees it. It is not his fault. It is the fault of the love that you both feel. You are beautiful, how else could he feel? Can he help it if you came into his life and made his head swim, made him dizzy with desire? Can he help it if love swooped down and enveloped the two of you in its intoxicating clouds?

See what I mean?

If he did feel responsible, he would say, I am a married man, I cannot do this!

So does that make him a narcissistic personality? I am not qualified to say. Perhaps he is simply immature or opportunistic. I can only say that you need to protect yourself. I suggest that you cut off communications with this guy.

For you, if love swoops down, it means you and your lover are meant to live together. Part of the romance, for you, is picturing a life together. So if you want a committed relationship, stay away from married Italian guys on vacation. Long-distance relationships are always hard. Watch out for guys who live across a big ocean. Fall in love with a man who pays his utility bills in Brazil.

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