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Relationship Health Message Board


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Some Background: I dated this guy Mark for 2 years. We were together since our first day of college. Mark wasn't always the best boyfriend ever, but we did have something special. Last summer, he went to New Zealand to study abroad. When he first got there, he told me how he realized how much I meant to him, how much he loved me, etc... 2 weeks later, he got drunk at a party and kissed another girl. He finally told me about it, after dodging me for a week, and only after I told him I kinda knew about it. Instead of saying "I'm sorry" he said "I can't have a long distance relationship" and broke up with me. I took this as a real breakup, and I took it hard. I started going to therapy and all. The summer passed, and I worked on getting over him.

Since school started, I've met a bunch of really cool people, all thanks to my amazing roommate Bri. Without Bri, I probably would have been one depressed mess right now, I really believe it. She is so awesome and I'm so lucky they put us together. One of the cool people she introduced me to, we'll just call him $, is pursuing me romantically. He's doing a pretty damn good job. He's showed me something completely different from what I had with Mark. He takes me out, surprises me, shows me he's thinking of me, gives amazing hugs, he's funny, he has a direction in life with goals and knows what he wants to do and knows he's going to achieve it, he's very positive, very caring, he calls me on the phone to see whats up, always tells me I'm gorgeous and beautiful, just stuff like that. When I first met him, I thought "hmmm he's special" but I didn't think he'd like me. I was wayyy wrong, turns out, I think he's wayyyy into me. I was very open with him about Mark, I told him I wasn't sure that I was over him. He recently broke up with his ex as well, so I was kinda iffy about everything, but he's showing too much effort for this to be a rebound thing.

Well, a few days ago, right before I was set to go on a date with $, Mark sends me an email saying he made a huge mistake and wants me back..... yup. The words I wanted to hear all summer, probably at the worst timing ever. Only since he said them now, it doesn't mean the same thing. I had been excited for my date with $ the whole day, and then 2 mins before I leave I get hit with this in the face. Now that I've seen what a more normal relationship is like, I'm not so sure how I feel about Mark. Since I've been hanging out with $, its been harder and harder for me to remember the good things about Mark. Instead, I'm having the worst time remembering anything besides the breakup and all the **** he said and how I can't trust him. Mark was kinda upset with me for kissing $, because he said he had all these opportunities to do the same but he didn't because couldn't get over me. I was like well... you dumped me, and I took it as being dumped, so I tried to move on. Part of me saw this coming, but I never saw another guy in the picture. I always thought I'd never find anyone comparable to Mark.

I've talked to Mark a few times since then. I can't really say how I feel, because I'm still really confused. At one point, he got me a little weak, just talking about when we first started dating and all. I almost caved to it. But then we kinda ended in an arguement, or at least with me a little ticked off. I haven't really talked to him since that. He said some things that I wish I could believe, but because of the breakup, I can't. He says hes changed. He says he'd treat me right. He says he'll actually start talking to me and telling me things. But now it kinda feels like "too little, too late." Also, because he's still in New Zealand, I can't really see any action or really feel the words. So its actually kinda empty. He talks about all these big changes and yet these are more like aspects of character, so I feel like I'd really need to see a development, not to mention I haven't even heard his voice since the day he broke up with me. Part of me thinks I already gave him his second chance and he blew it, but part of me wants to try again.

Sometimes I really miss him though. I ran into a professor that asked me about him, and I just remembered the time we spent in her class together and I missed him. Two years was a really long time, and sometimes that stuff creeps back up on me.

But here's the big dilemma: $. This guy is like a knight, I'm totally serious. Even I have been known to say that chivalry is dead, but he's proven me wrong. $ is here right now, in the flesh, not on the other side of the earth, and he's here proving himself to me. There are things about him that seem a little off to me, but I think they are more "normal" relationship things that I didn't have to deal with before because of Mark's situation. For example, $ likes to hang out with his friends. This seems odd to me because before I had Mark with me literally 24/7. I'm having a hard time with the lapses in attention, I guess you could say. Which is totally crazy, because I know in normal life there are times where you have to do your own thing. So this really is just a dumb issue created in my mind. $ drinks more than Mark did when he was here. I don't know how much he's drinking now, so again, random issue.

So here's where I stand: two guys. One I dated for 2 years and still love somewhere inside me, and one that is showing me everything I ever wanted in a relationship/guy. I keep waiting for something to fall out of the sky and hit me on my head and go POOF- CHOOSE THAT ONE. But I can't. People ask me constantly "Well, what do you want????" and I draw a huge blank. Nothing comes up. I don't know. There are so many what ifs, yet again. What if Mark comes back and really has changed? What if he hasn't? What if I date $ and tell Mark no and then $ and I break up and I want Mark back but its too late? What if I'm just into $ because he's here and being nice to me and I can hold him in my arms right now? What if Mark is still being dishonest with me? I JUST DON'T KNOW.

And now I don't sleep at night, and when I do I stay in bed forever because I'm afraid to get up (or I just feel too tired to). This thing is weighing me down. I don't know what to do. I kinda always feel like crying because I'm like a child when you get lost in the store and you just don't know where to go or what to do so you just stand there and bawl.

The last I talked to Mark, I told him I thought we'd have to wait until he got home to see. I really don't think I could tell if he's changed unless I can see him and see action. But if I keep seeing $ in that time, we'd be digging ourselves deeper and deeper into a relationship, and I'm SOOO scared of hurting him. Hes such a nice guy and doesn't deserve it. I'm terrified that I'd hurt him when Mark comes home. Last night, $ told me he was scared I'd do that. I just don't know what to do. If I keep seeing $, maybe by the time Mark came home I'd be like eh forget it. Or maybe not. But I like $, he makes me feel good, but he's here and Mark isn't so its so hard to gauge. Godddd so many what-ifs and crazy aspects.

I guess I'm just waiting for something to happen that makes me go... thats it. Thats what I'm going to do. But instead, things just keep getting more muddled. I think I'm just posting this on here because I need to get it out, and because maybe one of you kids will have some ideas. Because right now my head hurts so badly (and has for the past three days) and I'm worn out and I'm so confused.

I probably just divulged way too much information for anyone else's brains. ******* I wish I could see the future. "Two paths diverged in a wood..." kinda ****.... only I can't get past the damn fork in the road. I would really appreciate any advice or help or personal experiences. Please and thank you!
Well, this is one of those situations where it's actually really scary to give advice to someone, because what if we sway you to stay with $, and he turns out to be a prat, and like you say, by the time you see it, it's too late to go back to Mark, or if we sway you to give Mark another chance and you do, and he hasn't changed and still cheats on you and lies to you and breaks up with you again and then $ is off with another woman and is treating her like a queen while you're alone? Tough spot, for sure. BUT....

Perhaps consider - there is another option - neither of them? Seems $ treats you the way you wish Mark would treat you. Which tells me, if you put the two together, they'd be the perfect guy, but by themselves, neither is a perfect match for you. It does sort of sound like you're with $ only because he fawns on you. Actually, all you've told us about him is what he does for you. You haven't said anything about how smart he is, how together he is, how sexy he is, what kind of chemistry you have with him, all you've told us is what he does for you. think long as hard about that, is there anything more to your feelings for him OTHER than just how he fawns and dotes on you? Also, how much of a problem is his drinking and spending time with friends away from you? Is that something you could gladly live with, or would it really start to get to you after a while?

Is it a possibility to tell Mark that you still have feelings for him, but that he broke up with you so you tried to move on with your life, and that you believe him when he says he can't do long distance relationships? Is it a possibility for the two of you to date other people and limit contact to the occasion email and see how you feel when he comes back from New Zealand? He made the decision to leave, to break up, and it's not fair for him to decide to reclaim you because he has regrets, and how DARE he get mad at you for seeing other people after he told you "I can't do this, see ya." But I think you can keep it real and keep it light with $ and just enjoy each day you have with him, and see what happens. And as for breaking his heart, I wouldn't worry about that. Men NEVER worry about breaking our hearts, they lie, they cheat, they use, and they don't even give one, let alone a second, thought as to what it's going to do to us. I only have one ex boyfriend, who I thought was a gentle, tender soul. He told me that when he was a little boy his mom would go to work in the morning before he woke up and it made him feel abandoned, so he asked me never to leave in the morning without saying goodbye, so I never did, even if he was asleep, I didn't wake him but stroked his hair, kissed his cheek and whispered goodbye just to let him know I was leaving. I never lied to him, I was always honest, never told him I loved him unless I was absolutely sure I meant it, was so careful with his heart, and he thanked me by lying to me, using me, and throwing me away. I don't think there's a man alive who deserves to have us worry about breaking their hearts. Believe me, you'll be all worried, and he'll be sleeping with someone else a week later! Don't make that a reason to do or not do something that is best for you, I PROMISE you, when it comes to their own happpiness, neither Mark nor $ is worrying about breaking your heart. You have the right to make your own happiness as much a consideration as they do.





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