Battling the Savior Complex
By Frank Kermit
As children, many of us grew up on stories about the hero that saves a person, and in the process, earned the undying love and loyalty of the person saved so that the hero and that saved person live happily ever after.
The message that some people got was that being a hero is a way (and for some people, they learned it is the ONLY way) to earn a love that will never experience abandonment. Others learned from those stories that you are only worthy of love if you save someone.
The "saved" person could be a person with low self esteem that makes poor choices for their own lives, a recovering addict, a person that has given up on some part of their life, a person that is always short on money, or a person that is unable to accept and express love and compliments.
The savior in this case finds a person that needs help in an area that the savior feels they have some talent in and attaches to that person-in-need-of-help, usually very quickly.
For example, out of an Emotional Need of fear of abandonment, a would-be savior will actually sabotage a person's progress of healing so that the person is forever dependant on the savior.
Lastly, a savior might also be a victim of someone that preys on the overly nice nature that some saviors exhibit, which results in the savior eventually needing to be saved from the manipulative puppet master.
Another scenario is that once a person has healed, he or she becomes a different person, and the new person would not have ever sought to date a savior type to begin with, and the healed party moves on to find a new life partner that they can be on more equal footing.
A life partner cannot be someone that a person needs to save in order to earn love.
Your life partner will love you regardless if you have the power to save them or not.
If a potential life partner seeks you out to solve all of his or her problems, or if you are the one that feels obligated to save your partner from him or her self as a means to stay importantly relevant in their lives, it is all one big Red Flag.
At best, a life partner is something that you can be equal too, in the sense that neither one of you is required to save the other, especially saving a partner from themselves.
As partners, people can grow together, and explore the world together, and support each other through hard times, all the while making the mistakes we all make being human beings.
Beware of online profiles and single dating ads that start with: Rescue Me or something of that nature.
Fairy tales might make damsels in distress seem like a romantic notion, but the real world is no place to have a life partner that does not have the inner capacity to be their own hero.
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