Jenna said… " … if I walked into a room of 1,000 women, I'd walk out with a "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree", the sickliest one of the bunch! I've set standards and conditions in my partners that compliment my failings."
You are seeking love from outside of yourself, without first loving yourself. I think there are a few possible reasons you have chosen partners so in need of help. For one, you may possess a characteristic that is very common to women in relationships: the need to be needed. Your compassionate nature causes you to reach out to needy individuals because you can see the good in them. You look past their obvious failings and you see their "potential". Perhaps you have chosen partners who were not good for you because you thought you could help them, fix them, make their lives right. Your ability to gently ease their plight gave you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
The problem is, rarely is such a relationship equally beneficial for both parties. I would guess that you’ve often found yourself in relationships where you are giving, giving, giving, and not getting much in return. I am sure you have learned the hard way that it’s impossible to change another human being, even if the change is in their best interest. The only person you can change is you.
Two, by choosing a partner with bigger problems than you, it’s easier to avoid fixing yourself while you are focusing on fixing them. In other words, it may have been a subconsious avoidance tactic on your part… "it’s better to be with someone who causes me grief but who I can help, than to be by myself and have to work on helping myself."
Three, it is natural to gravitate towards people who are a reflection of ourselves (or of who we think we are). In the case of someone with low self esteem, the bar would be set low. Perhaps you have felt that you do not deserve any better. Perhaps you have felt that in choosing the "charlie brown christmas tree", there would be less risk of loss.
The key is to look inward for answers, seek to understand yourself, and learn to be comfortable on your own. As you begin to truly love yourself, instead of requiring that missing love to come from outside of yourself, you will become happier, more complete, more balanced. You will naturally attract similar people. You have so much to offer in a relationship, and waiting for a partner who truly deserves the gift of your love is a very wise choice.
Originally posted in response to: http://genderevolve.blogspot.com/2005/10/am-i-destined-to-be-alone-forever.html