There is loaded belief that deep down most women like the idea of being ‘rescued’. Apparently, this is why so many of us chicks have a thing for men in uniform (and there I was thinking that the whole point was to get the firefighter out of the uniform). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: GENDER ROLES ARE CHANGING!!!. It’s no longer just the damsels in distress that want a knight in shining armour to come along and save them when they find themselves stranded on De Waal Drive with a flat tyre one wet and windy morning (truth be told I could have saved myself but I didn’t want to get my hands dirty or arrive at work all sweaty and horrible, so I hailed a man to do the job for me!). We now live in a world where people are finally admitting that women can be real-life heroines (although, they pretty much always have been) who can not only be expected to take care of themselves (and in some cases the children spawned by men not willing to take responsibility) but who are also often relied on to save their poor male counterparts.
Maybe it’s just me but I’m at a stage in my life where I’m totally over this romantic idea of anyone, be it the guy or girl, needing to be ‘saved’ by a relationship. There are certain ideas which should strictly belong in the world of fairy tales. Sure, being told by a partner that they’d probably still be drinking themselves stupid if Tinder hadn’t bought the two of you together can be endearing to a certain extent but even someone with half a brain should be able to read between the lines – translation : you are dating someone with alcoholic tendencies, if not an addictive personality. RUN. Spending many a night having to discuss ways in which your new partner might consolidate his stupidly self-inflicted debt is also not a topic of conversation upon which a solid partnership should be based.
Of course, it is nice to feel needed but seriously, if that is a determining factor in why the relationship exists it doesn’t bode well for the future. And yes, it’s basic human nature to want to take care of others, especially those we are romantically involved with but dating someone who feels the need to overshare and burden you with their problems from the get-go isn’t really a great prospect in terms of happily ever after. I speak from experience when I say that once you start ‘saving’ people from their problems you do nothing more than open your incredibly capable self up for manipulation. These problem men (and women) are unlikely to have just one issue so chances are you are setting yourself up for life of heroism (and all the associated drama).
As much as we’d all like to think that love can conquer all, it can’t. Don’t get involved with someone convincing yourself that ‘One Day’ their love for you will force them to change. If a 40-something year old guy can’t hold down a job for more than 2 weeks, don’t kid yourself into believing that once you give him screaming rugrats he will find the motivation to earn some big bucks. A person who won’t take accountability for their mistakes instead choosing to blame everyone else and their dog is unlikely to break-free of their victim mentality anytime soon, in fact you’ll soon be added to the long-list of bad, bad, women who didn’t love him enough.
While you can’t change the people you date, if you find that you continue to attract damsels/dudes in distress time and time again there is one thing you can do to break this cycle. You can change yourself by critically looking at your savior complex and understanding that it is as toxic to a relationship as a deadbeat partner. Remember that while two parties may bring different strengths and weaknesses to a relationship, a healthy partnership tends to be formed by two people who are capable of standing on their own two feet but who instead want to stand together, rather than one person’s main motivation being a need to be in a relationship in order for support/survival. Look, I’m not saying one should dump the a guy who has stood by them through thick and thing the moment he gets retrenched. A partnership is all about overcoming challenges together. But learn to spot red flags and go into any potential romance with those beautiful eyes wide open.
Now over to you dear Rinsers. Have you ever dated a dude/damsel in distress? Did it end happily ever after or did you just get tired of having to perform heroic feats? Do you have any tips for people who find they have a saviour complex? Comments in the bit below !!