Ever started dating  and thought it was going great-then it mysteriously fell apart?  The guy was  gone, and you had no clue why.

From time to time, I’ll point out a common dating mistake. Warning: Avoid them all. They’re deadly.

Dating Mistake #5:  “RESCUING”

He’s emotionally wounded. Your job is to heal him with your love, right?


“Pretending You’re His Savior”

Shanece” and “Alphonso” met at the hospital where they were both employed.

Alphonso was deeply scarred by his troubled childhood and was emotionally unstable. Shanece had always been drawn to down-and-out guys. She figured if she could rescue him, he’d adore her forever.

So Shanece became Alphonso’s girlfriend/therapist/caretaker/mother.  Just like previous boyfriends, Alphonso ended up ditching Shanece.

Why? Because all patients leave their nurses when they start to feel better.


Romantic relationships require that the partners be peers.

If one plays the role of “caretaker/parent“, it’ll make enough emotional distance between the two of you for real intimacy to be impossible.

Rescuers” are often unaware of the reason for their co-dependency. They tend not to believe they have what it takes to maintain a man’s romantic interest. So they offer their services instead of themselves.

It means 90% of the relationship is all about the broken guy’s needs and feelings. But once a damaged man has been “nursed” enough he’ll start to feel stronger.

Then, chances are, he’ll go looking for a confident (a non-rescuing) woman, he never thought he could get, before you came along.

He’ll figure ,”I deserve a better woman now, because look how much better I am now.”


If you have a history of dating wounded men, get help. Look to a good therapist or a minister, and your closest friends to help you understand the roots of your rescuing behavior and how to break the habit.

Next time you’re dating someone new, ask yourself honestly, “How much is this guy, like the last guy?

Plus, always get candid feedback from some men in your life who are themselves in healthy relationships. They can tell you how “rescue-ready” you may be coming across. Their input helps far more than merely trusting your own self-perception.


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  1. This is exactly what happened to me in my marriage but my problem was not that I am a “rescuer,”…I’m an “over achiever.”  I was going to “prove” the love of God can heal all wounds and I was going to make it happen…..it was a 20 year disaster where I literally almost lost my life….

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