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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.
Remember, women love positive, upbeat, confident men, and you are trying to create the impression that you are a confident, social, fun, and passionate individual.
You want to do your very best to make as much of an impact on your first impression as you can.
He is always open and available to speak about my needs and feelings – but is not always equipped to handle my expressions.
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.
In many other ways he is also fantastic: he owns several properties, has several degrees in engineering, has managed to find a job where he has ample time for extracurricular activities, maintains a close network of friends, maintains a humble self-perspective, and seems thrilled to be with me: he helps me with things that are difficult (both family strife and car repairs!
), enjoys meeting my friends and family; he’s introduced me to his friends and some of his family (with whom he has a very complicated relationship).