My Savior Complex Always Leads Me To The Wrong Guys & I Don’t Know How To Stop

I can’t help the urge to “fix” a broken guy—good, balanced guys are boring to me. I see a man in an existential crisis, one who has no idea where he’s going in life, and I’m drawn to him like a moth to a flame. I have a savior complex and it always screws me over in the end.

  1. Fixing a broken guy makes me feel powerful. My savior complex urges me to seek validation. Being able to help a guy deal with his emotions and get out of depression makes me feel like the next Buddha. The reality is that I’m able to help just one in 10 guys. The rest of it is simply a big old mess where the guy ends up resenting me and I get massively hurt.
  2. I get a ton of pleasure out of helping guys resolve issues. The sad thing is that it doesn’t have that much to do with the guys at all—I want to feel good about myself. If I’m with a guy who’s got his life together, sure, I’ll get some joy out of it. If I find a guy who’s unstable but can be brought back to “normal” (think someone who recently came out of a breakup or got fired), I’ll get double the pleasure. I’ll tell my girlfriends that he’s my masterpiece and that I helped fix him as though I’m talking about a vintage car.
  3. I’m attracted to unbalanced people because I’m convinced that I can re-balance them. As a Libra and someone who practices a lot of meditation and reads psychology, I believe that I’m something of a “mind doctor.” In my head, I can help a guy balance his emotions just as a chiropractor can fix his posture. I’m starting to realize that this, however, is just the savior complex speaking. In fact, I’m not qualified to be mending anyone and going for troubled guys unbalances me too.
  4. Going out with a guy who’s got his act together is boring. I’m a very low-drama person. I haven’t had a fight with anyone in two years and rarely get into argument. Because I have no such action in my own life, I seek out men who do. That way, I can work on fixing their problems and complicated scenarios, thinking that I can leave at any point in my life still intact. Unfortunately, though, I end up letting all the madness into my life and become a participant in it.
  5. I attract guys who are in an existential crisis. I’m super fascinated by existential issues which is why when I meet a guy who’s got them, a little switch flicks in my head and I make a move. Listening to his problems is too interesting to pass. My savior complex feeds off of it. I immediately start devising plans with him to help him work out his issues. At the end though, once he’s feeling better, he leaves me. Why? That’s because he sees me as a part of his “bad” emotional period and wants to move on from everything all together.
  6. When I help a guy deal with his problems, I feel ownership over him. He’ll be coming back for more advice, right? Wrong. Once he gets over his drama, he ends up leaving because he doesn’t see the use for me anymore. I end up discarded because of my savior complex.
  7. I’m not so much of a girlfriend as I’m a crutch to him. These troubled guys see me as a savior too and cling to me until they feel good about themselves. The problem is that I may think someone likes me or even loves me when all they see is a free and available therapist. That’s not what I need and I end up being hurt.
  8. None of these relationships will ever have a future. Yet, it’s really hard to process that idea in my head. I can’t have a future with someone I started dating because he was “broken.” I need to see him as my partner, not a lab rat I can practice psychology on.
  9. I’m the one who needs help. The reality is that I’m the one who needs help. Acting like a savior is toxic. I’m not certified to be messing with anyone’s emotions or directing their actions. What’s even worse is that I do this in order to get validation for my own worth. That’s no way to be and it gets me hurt. Guys can see me as manipulative at times. I need to shake off this behavior for everyone’s good.
  10. I need an emotionally mature guy. The only way to get over my savior complex is to be with an emotionally mature and stable guy. I need someone who is just as interested in decoding his feelings as I am. He won’t use me as a crutch and will help me embrace my flaws.
Dayana is a passionate traveler who's been navigating foreign lands and confusing relationships since she was 16. You can read more of her work on Matador Network and her blog, Dee Across The Sea.