I often have people ask me, through their tears, why they keep ending up with people who hurt them or why they keep choosing the same kind of person who inevitably leaves them brokenhearted. The real question you may need to ask yourself is why you keep picking people you know underneath aren’t healthy enough on their own to be healthy in a relationship.
Classic Scenario: You meet someone who tells you they are “damaged” or whose mom/dad/loved one just passed away, or who says they tend to run away from committed relationships, and all of a sudden you find yourself driven to make it work and certain that you can be the one to mend his/her broken heart and change his/her ways.
Chances are you are a nurturer at heart and a rescuer in relationships. As much as we don’t like to think so we all have needs and sometimes one of our needs is to feel needed. The challenge with this is that regardless of how hard you work, if you are going after someone who is “broken” the only person who can really make him better is himself.
So instead of getting your heart broken again, here is what I recommend:
If you have been repeating this pattern for some time, take a time out and invest all of that love and attention that you would typically devote to someone else onto yourself. This might be uncomfortable for you at first but its critical to you getting the love that you want that doesn’t leave you feeling devastated or alone.
Pay attention to who you are attracted to and ask yourself why? Is this person someone you genuinely have a lot in common with or do you feel so strongly about he because you can tell he feels undeserving of love and you want to prove him otherwise.
Be curious about what is getting in the way of you believing you deserve someone who is healthy and strong. Ask yourself what appeals to you about dating someone who doesn’t “need” you but wants you. What doesn’t appeal?
Remember, successful relationships are ones where you aren’t trying to fix or change someone but rather where you accept the other person for who they are. Focus on how you can each learn and grow from each other and your relationships will be much healthier.