Do you find yourself very often inexplicably drawn to a project guy – a guy with some serious personal problems, emotional, financial, or physical, that you think you can help? Maybe it's the guy that just can't seem to hold a job, or the guy who drinks too much or has drug dependencies.
The end result is that you typically find yourself in a relationship where you are caretaking for a partner, and feeling responsible for his wellbeing in one or more areas of his life. You may even be enabling his dependencies without even realizing it.
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Take an honest look at your past relationships, and see if any of these sound familiar:
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- You have often felt sorry for your past partners in one or more areas of his life.
- You often find yourself minimizing your own needs and focusing excessively on your partner's needs.
- You believe that people that have been hurt in one way or another deserve love more than people that haven't suffered any serious hurts in their past.
- You have often been drawn to men that you feel need your help in pulling their life together.
- You often feel and act like a parent in the relationship, guiding your partner and feeling the need to give advice or point him in the right direction.
- You have found yourself in a position where you feel like his life would crumble if you weren't there to help him with your support and love.
If any of the above sound like what you’ve experienced in your past relationships, you may be prone to being the rescuer. Instead of seeking a partner to have a deep, meaningful mutually supportive relationship, you are driven by a need to get into relationships where you can be in the position of feeling needed.
This is fairly common and can be caused by several issues, such as:
- You may be focusing on someone else's issues to avoid facing your own.
- You may not feel valuable or worthy on your own account, so you have a need to find value in yourself by feeling as though you are helping other people.
- You may have some serious personal issues yourself, and you find that being with someone with personal issues that are worse than your own makes you feel better about yourself.
- You may feel that if you get a fixer upper and then fix him up that he'll be so indebted to you that he'll never leave.
- As a child you may have been made to feel that you weren't competent enough, and now helping someone with serious problems may make you feel capable.
- You may be trying to make up for something in your childhood that you weren't able to save. If you lost someone close to you to a drug or alcohol addiction, you may be trying to find men with the same problems so that you can relive that part of your life and save them this time. Or you may be trying to save your brother or mother from the pain of being picked on or belittled. If anyone from your childhood was mistreated, abused, abandoned, or otherwise not accepted, you may be trying to save that person subconsciously by finding a partner with the same issues and trying to save them.