Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,
I am at my heart’s end. This is the third time someone I really loved dumped me. I am wondering just what is wrong with me. I work hard and put in long hours but I need to in order to be a good provider. I am smart, good looking, and treat anyone I am with respectfully. I think I am a kind and sensitive guy? You would think I am a great catch? A longtime friend of mine says it is because I keep picking fixer uppers.
Love is like a rainbow it has many shades. What is important isn’t the specific shade but whether those colors balance in a couple. Anyone who likes “fixer uppers” needs to be needed. There is nothing wrong with a needy kind of love but if it is not balanced it is a short lived kind of love. Anyone incapable of taking care of their own needs will depend too heavily upon you. In the beginning you will invest too much in them and this can strain your resources. Eventually you may have to pull back in order not to destroy everything. If someone is accustomed to abundant generosity, that will disappoint and infuriate them. You will be a false savior, a false knight.
Some need is okay and can be sweet, but too much need is parasitic. Find someone who is your equal, who doesn’t need fixing or saving but who really enjoys people and loves to share. This is a healthier more balanced form of your need to needed by people.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: I have known guys like you and my heart goes out because you think you are doing all the right things. You want to be a good provider. You are respectful, kind and considerate. The unfortunate thing is that these are great qualities in a doorman, but a boyfriend needs to be something more.
I once had a man try to woo me who was the most considerate, respectful and generous person you could imagine. He came from a family of lawyers and was an attorney himself and if I’d wanted a good provider he sure fit the bill. But he was so stuffy and stiff, always on his best behavior- he lacked a certain human playfulness and spark. He lived such a careful life that it made me want to mess things up just to see something unexpected happen. I felt terrible because he was so sweet, but I couldn’t imagine a relationship with him. I wanted someone I could have a full, yin yang sort of life with. Not someone who treated me like a porcelain egg.
I don’t know you well enough to make any helpful suggestions. But along with trust, being vulnerable is a big part of true intimacy. If you just put on your perfect, best front all the time, you can become just a little too much like the doorman- which is maybe why those girls keep walking out the door.