Savior complex in dating
These men would retreat often, pushing me away, before returning with more promises about the kind of guy they were, sprinkling pretty words all over my tattered heart. Only I defined and chose my type, my type did not choose me, and I had the power to turn the tides. It also dawned on me that I hadn’t been called upon to “solve” any of their problems.I believed them, because there wasn’t another option; their behavior was all I knew, and everything I was conditioned to cope with. These friends built me up, and they never packed drama.In the end, I hugged him goodbye and thanked him for dinner.When he texted me the following day, I told him that, although he was lovely, it was probably best we went our separate ways.Maybe relationships weren’t about fixing a person at all. So with the dawn of 2016, I actually started to think about what I needed in a relationship—not what I wanted or was instantly drawn toward, but the qualities that would make me feel safe and supported.I looked for times I felt that way, or saw authentically supportive gestures in real life.I was sitting at the prettiest date restaurant, out with a guy I’d met several days before at a mixer.He was sweet and upbeat, talkative and seemingly driven.
First dates left me feeling hollow, bored, and out of touch. Not because I was still bleeding from the months of emotional manipulation, but because I’d slowly cauterized myself to emotions at all.I nodded along to his stories as I took bites of my pasta, methodically peppering him with questions while revealing very little about myself.Although I was technically there, I couldn’t force myself to actually show up for that date.I like that one of my guy friends always silently does the right thing simply for the sake of doing it, not because he’s going to get anything in return. I warm whenever he notices I am selling myself short or subtly downplaying my accomplishments.It reminds me that I am the sum of my positives, not the essence of my last mistake.