I've had 2 relationships since I quit drinking. Both girls were very similar. Both relationships started with large red flags in front of both houses. You always want to give people the benefit of the doubt, yet 100% of the time you can bank on the same results happening. Clinically speaking, taking one year off after your relationship ends is what's ideal. Do you think that's a question asked on dating sites? Do you think that's ever rationally discussed on first dates? Wounds are visibly seeping, yet we proceed with reckless abandon. You lose yourself in these moments. You're swept away by the things about the person that appeal to you. Those red flags are impossible to ignore, yet you find a way of tricking yourself into thinking "this time will be different". Sure it will, pal...sure it will.
While it might seem cliche, the saying "One must learn to love oneself before one can learn to love others" holds so much truth. You can spend your entire life bouncing from person to person and the results will always be the same. It would be so easy for me to jump into the fray and get lost in a sea of lust again. So easy. Those who take the time to nurse the wounds mentioned above have hopes life will be different at some point though. It's not about numbing the pain and finding an emotional fix to us. It's about substance. It's about being completely comfortable with who you are and the decisions you make. Being completely comfortable and trusting the people you're surrounded by. The ability of choosing to not sleep on a bed of lies.
Looking in the mirror can be uncomfortable at times. Those who do can make the changes that are needed to remove themselves from the vicious circle of parasite/host/repeat. While it might not be nearly as much fun, I take pride in not adding to the masses of walking wounded in our society.