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Originally published Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 05:59a.m.

Dear Annie: I’m in a difficult situation I’m hoping you can help with. You see, my soul mate is married.

It all began the Christmas before last. I was working at a convenience store, when suddenly in walked the most beautiful man. My heart started racing, and I became overwhelmed with a feeling I’d never felt before. For months, we flirted back and forth when he came into the store, and one day we finally exchanged numbers. I didn’t know he was married, let alone had children. When I found that out, I pulled back some and stopped flirting. He pouted and had low-key tantrums, and then he stopped texting -- for a while.

He still kept coming into the store on the regular. But then he started trying to flirt with my co-workers, talking slick to them in my presence. I talked to my co-workers and established that no one — and I meant no one -- was to entertain my soul mate!

About a year went by, and we started flirting again. Frustration and tension built for months. One day, he finally leaned in and -- oh, that kiss! Sparks flew. I had a tingling sensation. I quickly pulled away and left. I had butterflies and was lightheaded and shaking. I had this overwhelming feeling of uncertainty. But I knew he was the one.

We are currently six months into our affair. He knows how I feel about him, the passion and desires. He tries to leave me, but it only lasts about a week, and then he’s back again. Home life isn’t the best for him. His wife is constantly nagging him. His 7-year-old son is super needy and has driven a wedge between them and ruined their intimacy. His teenage stepdaughter, who wasn’t there for him when he was incarcerated, is always bothering him now.

What do I do? He and his wife are slowly getting a divorce. I love him, and I strongly believe that he was mine in a past life and needs to be with me. — But I Love Him

Dear But I Love Him: This isn’t love. It’s infatuation. The two are like gold and pyrite. Love shines at any angle, whereas infatuation only glistens in the right light. One is precious; the other just pretends to be. Don’t fall for fool’s gold.

You do not really know this man, because he spends most of his time with his wife and family (maybe even another girlfriend). And what you do know for sure about him is not good. He’s cheated on his wife. He’s tried to make you jealous by flirting with your co-workers. He’s dismissed his children’s love as a nuisance. (His son is only 7 years old, for goodness’ sake. Of course he’s needy.)

The affair is exciting for now, but that excitement will fade. I’d wager “slowly getting a divorce” means “not getting a divorce,” but even if he does -- even if he leaves his wife and kids to start over with you -- how long will it be before he’s kissing a new cashier? And you’ll be waiting at home, with newfound sympathy for the “nagging” wife. Love yourself enough to end this infatuation.