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I know there are other interesting men out there (they are still pursuing me!), but I am still more interested in seeing what this man has to show. The good: You have the awareness and self-esteem to realize your boyfriend is not the last man on Earth. You need more safety and intimacy, and when you don’t get it, you feel triggered.
He is always open and available to speak about my needs and feelings – but is not always equipped to handle my expressions.
After 4-6 weeks of dating, I’ve been in an exclusive relationship with a man 4 years my junior (I am 36) who has had some significant struggles in his life: he is aware of their impacts and is actively addressing them – most recently leaving a relationship that had activated some of his own issues.
As someone who has overcome my own history of dysfunctional family life and personal strife, I admire his commitment to his own health, and empathize with his journey.
But…his shadow self emerges, and I recognize I am still getting to know him.
He has acknowledged that he has an ambivalent-anxious attachment style (with the tendency to retreat when he is feeling emotionally challenged, but still a deep need to connect), which he is making sense of in therapy and independently.I wonder about the balance of “wait, grasshopper” and ” believe the negatives” – both of which I have read from your columns.