Until just a few short years ago, there was one thing I looked for in a potential relationship above all others. I wanted to protect, to serve, to teach and help. Consequently, I was generally attracted to women who had some sort of mental or emotional problem, someone I perceived as needing my help. I wanted a girl I could work on, improve, and who needed me.
I don’t know where that overwhelming desire to be needed came from, really. I suspect it arose out of a desire for control; there was so much in my life I couldn’t control, so I wanted something I could. If I could date a girl and improve her life in some way, then I was having a positive affect. I was controlling something for good.
The problem with dating girls who have problems, however, is that they have problems and those problems create problems for you. None of my relationships were steady, reliable, or even all that positive. I was always finding somewhat-crazy girls who hurt me terribly in ironical fashions.
It really is ironic. I’d seek out an unstable girl, expect her to stick around because… I’m awesome? I guess. And then she’d leave (shock) and I’d be hurt. So I’d find another girl who “needed me,” though they never asked me to help or fix them, and repeat the cycle.
The truth was that I didn’t need to fix them; I needed to fix myself. But while I was seeking out people I could “help,” I could put off looking at the mess that was my life.
You have to find yourself before you can find someone else. And you can’t fix a person; they have to want to fix themselves, and they have to work on it. You can support and help, maybe, if they ask and are willing to accept it… but it can’t be forced on them.
I cannot save you. I can’t even save myself.