Originally Posted by Jibralta
I don't think you're incapable of loving certain people or that you are a shallow person. I think that "love between equals" has never been modeled for you by your parents and family. Love seems to have always been a caretaker arrangement in your life. No surprise that, as a result, like you say, the concept of love is hard for you to grasp. And no surprise that you are comfortable with another arrangement where you are basically a provider/caretaker.

I think you're posting on here because you've become aware of your patterns and you are questioning yourself. That's good, because you can change your outlook if you want to. You can't change other people, but you can change yourself.

Growing up with parents that basically hated each other, I didn't believe there was any value to romantic relationships for a long time. When I saw couples, I always imagined an undercurrent of resentment between them. Fortunately, I see things differently now.

I don't know if you realize it, but being a caretaker puts you in a position of power. Someone else relies on you and you never rely on them. It's similar when you have zero expectations of the person that you fall in love with. To say that she can do whatever she wants while you wait around patiently in love like Forest Gump is again an instance of control and power: you are giving permission ahead of time. To give permission, you have to be an authority. To govern, your decisions have to be worth inherently more.

But obviously, this power an illusion when you are governing people who are compromised by addiction, disability, and psychological problems. Power is also illusory when you attach yourself to emotionally unavailable people and make excuses for them. You think you avoid rejection by pre-authorizing their dismissive behavior. But you're really just in denial.

The true test of power and self worth is your ability to negotiate a relationship with an equal. That's where rejection becomes an unavoidable risk.

The question is, are you being honest with yourself about what you really want in life?
wow. . good stuff J