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$ is everything Mark wasn't in many ways besides the doting. He's smart, he's cute, he has the bluest eyes, and he has goals in life. He has passions, he is very helpful, very caring, and more thoughtful than any guy I've ever known. He's secure with who he is, he is very honest about himself, and I have yet to see him do one thing to indicate a hidden *******. I don't know if it's just because I'm near him, but $ really turns me on too. Mark is rather unstable, which is one of the things that frightens me most. He is bipolar, and recently indicated an urge to go live off the land somewhere for awhile to build his character (only, now he wants me to go with him.... uh... no.) These things show me that he's not exactly driven, doesn't know who he is, and doesn't have a goal for the future beyond that. I've had to deal with my parent's financial insecurity for my entire life, and success means something to me because I don't want to have my children go through the same thing. I'm not saying I'm seeing these guys as husbands, but it is definitely a quality that is important to me.

The drinking and the hanging out with friends is probably at a normal level for everyone else, and only because of my experiences in the past do they seem abnormal. $ will spend some time with me, lets say take me out to dinner, then go hang out with his friends for a few hours, then he'll come back and hang out with me some more. With Mark, it was nothing but him and I all the time. I have issues with drinking because of alcoholism in my immediate family, and I still have to remind myself that $ can have a beer every so often and on the weekends because that is what normal people can do. Does that make sense?

To be fair to Mark, he has certain qualities that $ doesn't. He was very good at reading my emotions. I have certain down days and I don't express them, but Mark could always tell. $ hasn't really been able to pick up on that yet. Mark put up with alot of those bad days, and I'm not sure if $ can do the same.

At this point, I've been apart from Mark for awhile and because of all that happened, I'm having a hard time getting past the negatives to see the positives. I can hardly remember what it was like to kiss him, but I do remember our first kiss and how great it was. After $ kissed me, I thought "there it is, I kissed someone besides Mark." I know I shouldn't let fear hold me back, but its what keeps me from Mark. I'm terrified of being hurt by him again, because I know how dumb I'll feel, and I can see it happening rather easily. Then again, what do I know? Maybe he could prove himself?

I would really like to keep things casual with $ and see what happens when Mark comes home. But I don't think its fair. One is hanging on and one is falling more in love. I think Mark was trying to have his cake and eat it too in New Zealand, dumping me and trying to have fun, but it didn't work for him. It wouldn't be right for me to try to have my cake and eat it too with Mark and $. Everyone says "you don't have to decide now" but its bothering me. Except every five minutes I see-saw between choices. It's pretty bad.

Thanks for your advice though. I really needed some good objective help. Most of my friends are like "we saw how badly you hurt when Mark broke up with you, and we think $ won't do that and seems like a nicer guy." The truth is, everyone breaks up sometime, and it will hurt just as bad if $ does it to me. Ughhh... I'm just one confused little girl over here :0)~

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