How many times have you felt as if you needed to “save” your partner? Have you felt like they needed your help — and if it weren’t for you, they would be unable to take care of themselves? Have you felt like you just had to step in and take their responsibilities and problems on your own shoulders? And if none of your efforts worked and the person continued down the path of self-destruction — was it perhaps your fault?
If you are frequently jumping in to save the day and truly believe that you are helping your partner — you are wrong. It took me 5 years to do step in, save the day, become the executioner, the victim and the saviour.
Today, is the 5th day I realized that love doesn’t hurt.
Let me fix that . . .
Look, wanting to help others is quite natural and can be very good for you. Often the urge may even come from a place of good. But when the noble “let me do this for you, babe” becomes a daily routine— your relationship becomes toxic. Usually, people who tend to over-sacrifice for others comes from a place of self-doubt and a lingering feeling of worthlessness.
Ask yourself are you going to spend the rest of your life trying to prove yourself by “fixing” things for others?
If you do — you will end up frustrated by your own relationship and exhausted from the amount of effort you are making, trying to fill a void. That’s exactly what happened to me.
I get you!
Do you remember Pretty Woman? I loved the lines at the end when Edward asks: “So what happens after he climbs up and rescues her?” Vivian replies — “She rescues him right back.”
Aww. So romantic. So brave. This idea of rescuing one another is noble. In theory. But in real life, when you are embodying a savior role you will feel the need to “fix” and provide instant answers for whatever your partner is going through.
You will be upset when they are in pain, certainly, but you’ll be even more motivated by the sinking feeling that it’s up to you to provide a solution — which is not.
In high school, I mingled with groups of friends who felt misunderstood. There was something powerful about understanding people who felt misunderstood. It made me feel special, so I’d go to lengths to be friends with people who were outcasts.
Sometimes I even felt a responsibility for these friends’ happiness, and this resulted in some very co-dependent friendships that broke off fast. It’s not healthy — trying to take on someone’s problem so you can be their savior and it doesn’t work. In the same way, someone grows to resent someone for trying to change them.
If you truly want to stop saving others, I can recommend a few everyday tips which will help you avoid falling back into the trap of the toxic routine.
Become the supporting actor
Step back. Let your partner take the lead, sit back and chill. Most importantly don’t feel guilty about it. If you do — re-read this article or ping me.
Don’t act — just listen
When you feel the urge to rip your shirt off and go all Superman — stop. Don’t offer solutions or advice, just listen to your partner. Collaboration is much more helpful than trying to solve a problem by only providing the solution you think is best.
Start listening to your own needs. You may not be able to hear them for a few days since you have broken the toxic pattern, but they will come to you, eventually, and when they do — listen.
If you are not taking care of yourself, and aren’t strong and healthy enough, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
Good Relationships Don’t Need Fixing
A strong relationship involves people with a moderate degree of self-assurance. You want someone you can grow with. You want someone who will stick by you through the bad, but also make you laugh and learn and explore.
Be with someone because you love them and appreciate them as a person. Teach each other new things and be excited for your future together.
Saving or being saved does sound romantic. True romance is not in that single goal, rather an accumulation of everyday moments and lessons.
When things in your life get difficult or challenging, what do you do? Do you crawl up in the bed and wait for the challenges to pass? Or do you start figuring ways how to overcome the difficulties?
I know that the most beautiful things in life never come easy. You must work hard to deserve them. And once you get them, you must fight for them to keep them safe.
I mean if finding a perfect relationship, or a perfect partner was that easy, the value of true love would have been lost a long time ago. Love wasn’t designed to be simple. No one ever said it would be easy. Relationships were never meant to be perfect. Love is and will be the most beautiful feeling in the world. But love requires work. It is not all sunshine and rainbows.
Fairy-tale partners don’t exist.
What exists though is a mutual desire to fight through obstacles and against all odds to make something work. When two people are ready to be together, they will do everything in their power to make that happen.
When two souls are willing to set aside every difference that gets in their way for the sake of something greater and far more important, that is the definition of true love.
Because when the feeling is real, and the emotions are mutual, it means that people are prepared to fight everything that threatens their love and confront every mental, emotional or physical challenge that stands in their way. I self-identified myself as a “hopeful romantic’” and I am determined enough to make my relationship fairy-tale-like and work with my partner towards building our happily ever after.
When your love is fearless, miracles do happen. When the love is genuine everything else just feels like background noise.