If You Truly Love Them, Don’t Try To Be Their Savior—Here’s My Take

I get it. You have a lot of love to give, and you just want to see the person you’re with be happy. However, did you ever stop and think that the more you were trying to help, the more you actually weren’t?

It’s a confusing thought, but if you think about it, how much did you really see your help pay off? You likely only did for a moment, if ever. Here’s why.

You Give Them An Out

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Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

Due to our survival instincts, when we are faced with an issue, we look for a way out. There are good ways and bad ways to do that.

Bad ones are deflecting, denying, and blaming, for example. Having someone fix it for you is just as bad of an out. It shifts the responsibility off of them.

You’re Doing It For Yourself, Not Them

woman hugging giant teddy bear in bed
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

You could fight me on this, but the truth is, when you’re helping them, you’re not really doing it for them. Helping them makes you feel good and in control.

It gives you purpose and makes you feel needed. Maybe that makes you feel like it’ll keep them from leaving you.

You’re Doing It Out Of Entitlement

woman hugging her knee in sadness by brick wall
Photo Credit: Rafael Barros / Pexels
Photo Credit: Rafael Barros / Pexels

If you look deep down, you’ll realize that a part of you feels entitled to be comfortable and happy all the time.

When this is disrupted by your partner’s low energy and conflict, you try to make the circumstances fit the way you want them to be.

You’re Treating Someone Like An Equation

woman solving math equation on blackboard
Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels
Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Happiness is not a solvable equation, nor is the person experiencing unhappiness that you’re trying to fix. It actually goes against human nature to always be satisfied, and unease is actually a required component that leads to happiness.

You can’t know happiness without knowing unhappiness. So you’re setting yourself up for failure by trying to solve the unsolvable.

You’re Preventing Them From Confronting Their Pain

woman bending forward in pain on couch
Photo Credit: Sora Shimazaki / Pexels
Photo Credit: Sora Shimazaki / Pexels

You’re teaching them that it’s okay to live in avoidance. They’ll get used to feeling like it’s okay if they ignore their pain, because eventually someone else will deal with it for them, and it’ll somehow just go away.

Except, when they never face the actual root of their unhappiness, they never actually find happiness.

You’re Taking Away Their Necessary Suffering

woman standing on balcony with man looking sad
Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions / Pexels
Photo Credit: RODNAE Productions / Pexels

You’re looking at pain as a barrier instead of acknowledging it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Pain is what will make them a better person and a better partner.

If they can’t learn from it, it’ll just keep happening to them, and you’ll both get stuck in a cycle. It’s how we learned not to touch fire.

You’re Creating A Codependent Relationship

woman piggy backs on man shoulders
Photo Credit: Katerina Holmes
Photo Credit: Katerina Holmes

If you keep taking care of them, they won’t even know how to function without you. They’ll expect your help and blame you when you can’t give it.

You’ll end up feeling drained from giving so much more than you’re taking. Then you’ll resent them for putting so much pressure on you.

You’re Taking Accountability For What’s Out Of Your Control

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Photo Credit: Burst / Pexels
Photo Credit: Burst / Pexels

You’re not only hurting them, you’re hurting yourself in the process, too. You’re taking on someone else’s baggage when it’s completely out of your control.

You can’t control someone else, their situation, or the way they respond. You’re only in control of your own reaction.

You Think This Is The Only Way You’ll Earn Love

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Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

You’re not confronting why you even feel the need to save them. Somewhere along the line, you convinced yourself that love had to be earned and that you didn’t deserve it otherwise.

You do this because, subconsciously, you think it’ll make you worthy of their love, and they’ll keep around. In a way, this is selfish. Even if it might be rooted in your learned experiences.

You Think It’ll Improve The Relationship

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Photo Credit: Kristina Polianskaia / Pexels
Photo Credit: Kristina Polianskaia / Pexels

You think that if they’re happier, then they’ll stop bringing you down, and you can finally have a happy relationship. However, odds are one of you will always have some sort of obstacle to get over at one point or another.

You can’t spend an entire relationship waiting to get to the other side, or you’re just wasting your time.

You’re Preventing Them From Finding Happiness

man pushes his hair up
Photo Credit: Nathan Cowley / Pexels
Photo Credit: Nathan Cowley / Pexels

Ironically, by trying to control their happiness, you’re preventing it. They need to be the ones holding the reins and responding accordingly. They need to realize that no one is responsible for their happiness except themselves.

Because you’re taking away their ability to choose how they want to react to and interpret their circumstances, they feel overwhelmed and unbalanced in it.

They’re Unable To Take Responsibility

man behind the window in the rain
Photo Credit: Maximo / Pexels
Photo Credit: Maximo / Pexels

Since you’re stripping their ability to react and take control, they’re unable to take responsibility. There is a difference between knowing what went wrong and deciding what to do about it.

Lack of responsibility means lack of change. It’s basically insanity, as they’ll just continue on doing exactly all the same things, but expecting different results.

You’re Picking The Wrong Problems

woman covering her face with her hands
Photo Credit: Ana Bregantin / Pexels
Photo Credit: Ana Bregantin / Pexels

This might sound harsh, but you’re likely just avoiding facing your own problems. We all have them. If you’re spending all your energy fixing someone else’s, you won’t have any energy left for your own.

Pick your battles. Pick what you’re willing to suffer and work for. Otherwise, your problems will just come to find you anyway

You’re Afraid Of Boundaries

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Photo Credit: Jeremias Oliveria / Pexes
Photo Credit: Jeremias Oliveria / Pexes

Here is the difference between someone with a strong boundary and someone with a weak boundary. Having strong boundaries means you’ll do what you think is best for yourself even if it means risking an argument or temper tantrum.

Having weak boundaries means you’re afraid of displeasing your partner, so you’ll mold your behavior to fit their emotional highs and lows.

You’re Trying To Control How Someone Feels

holding woman's head to console her
Photo Credit: Anna Shvets / Pexels
Photo Credit: Anna Shvets / Pexels

Not only are you trying to control how they feel about their problems, but the truth is you’re trying to control how they feel about you, too. You’re scared that if you upset them, by making them deal with their own stuff, that you’ll hurt their feelings.

You try to control how they react to you so that they don’t see you negatively. Except a healthy relationship isn’t about controlling each other’s emotions—it’s about supporting each other through them.

You’re Shifting The Dynamic

resting her head on man's shoulder while they sit on the ground
Photo Credit: thiszun / Pexels
Photo Credit: thiszun / Pexels

When one party becomes the savior and the other the victim, the dynamics automatically shift. The savior keeps on giving without receiving, while the victim falls deeper into their victimhood and expects more saving.

Clearly, this isn’t good for either party. The savior becomes too exhausted, now needing to be saved themselves, while the victim never truly gets saved.

You’re Trying To Change Them

woman with long hair looks upset
Photo Credit: Maria Orlova / Pexels
Photo Credit: Maria Orlova / Pexels

No offense, but through what authority do you think that you always know best? Your knowledge and experience are just as limited as theirs. Saviors often believe in their power to impact others and in their ability to know how to help.

In reality, only the person who needs help can truly determine what they need. Helping them would be supporting them as they figure that out.

It’s A Losing Battle

couple holding hands as they stand by wall
Photo Credit: Tan Danh
Photo Credit: Tan Danh

I will never understand why we think we can change and control people or situations in our lives, but I’m just as guilty of doing it. I keep proving to myself that it’s pointless.

You can’t force love, or happiness, or people’s actions and feelings, no matter what you do. Whenever I tried, I only worsened the situation by hurting myself, too.

It Shows How Little You Think Of Them

man holds woman as they stand under the umbrella
Photo Credit: Shukrat Umarov / Pexels
Photo Credit: Shukrat Umarov / Pexels

Clearly, you don’t think they’re capable of solving their own problems, or you wouldn’t be trying to do it for them. You feel like it’s your duty to be their savior, and that without you, they’ll just suffer and be lost.

However, when you try to be their savior, you don’t try to help with your limited resources; instead, you think the right thing to do is to bend over backward regardless of your needs, and it backfires

Here’s What You Should Do Instead

woman leading man's arm in sunset
Photo Credit: Arthur Brugnoli / Pexels
Photo Credit: Arthur Brugnoli / Pexels

Help them help themselves. Encourage them to look for the help they need. You could guide them towards what that is or support them as they find it, but don’t assume it for them and act on it.

You’ll actually be doing them—and yourself—a disservice.