A few years ago I met a guy who struck up a conversation by telling me, "I just have to tell you that you are cute as a kangaroo, maybe even cuter than a kangaroo." At the time, I was strict about giving out my phone number, but he earned it on that line alone. I mean, a kangaroo? Are kangaroos even cute? It was weird, he was weird, I liked it. We hung out a few times and then I started making excuses to not hang out. Then I stopped returning his phone calls. No real reason, he was cool and we had a lot in common. He was a decent bit older than me, but it only bothered me in theory; the age gap didn't make a difference. The last time we talked, he told me he liked me a lot but wasn't going to put up with that kind of bull shit and that I'd have to give it up if I was ever going to get anywhere with anyone. I was already talking to another guy who'd struck up a conversation by throwing me, fully-clothed, into the pool at a friend's house and would invite me to parties at his house and not talk to me. It didn't take long for me to stop returning his calls, too.
How's that for self-defeating behavior? I didn't choose the jerk over the nice guy, I chose both and then promptly dropped both. But don't be too quick to judge, friend; you do the same thing.
I'm not saying you have the same commitment and attention span problems I have, but I'm willing the bet the cash in my pocket (all $0.56 of it) that if you aren't in a happy and relatively stable relationship right now, it's your own fault. You get a new crush every week, or you are a serial monogamist and get too serious too quickly. You only date jerks because you let dudes treat you like crap or girls mess with your mind be messed with. (A quick disclaimer: none of these theories apply to abusive relationships. Abuse is a power and control issue and a whole other ball of wax.) I know what I do: I complain that only weirdos like me, but I only like weirdos, I judge flaws too harshly, I get skittish and standoffish when I genuinely like someone...the list could continue. It doesn't take any sort of abnormal self-awareness to figure this stuff out, just a couple hours, a couple glasses of wine or bottles of beer, and a good friend who will hash out all your missteps.
So there's step one: figuring out where you've been going wrong. Ideally, you start putting your new knowledge of self into practice and at the very least if your relationships fail, you can legitimately blame the other person because they haven't figured out their issues the way you've figured out yours. No such luck, though. All the introspection is easy, the follow through is nearly impossible. I described it to someone as an addiction, maybe a more minor strain of addiction, where you know you shouldn't, but you do it anyway. It's that self-defeating business I mentioned earlier; it's cheating on your diet or driving drunk. You CHOOSE to do it. We CHOOSE to keep messing up relationships. Why? I don't know. Some of us are sadistic and the prospect of failure is easier to swallow than the prospect of success. Maybe some of it happens for the same reasons I still go to Steamers all the time even though it almost always sucks: it's familiar and I'd rather not learn how to do anything else. Maybe the question of why needs to come before the question of what in the case of this behavior. Maybe it's just because love/lust is so intoxicating and dizzying that no one can think straight, if they can think at all.
But people have good relationships (good relationships, not just long-lasting relationships. Lots of those are awful) so it's possible to work through the problems or around them, right? Love each other regardless, like Juno's dad suggested? Probably. I'll let you know.