Do you date up or down? Astral influences and mental programming acquired during childhood can have a lot to do with the kind of people we date and end up being in relationships with.
Various combinations of signs and planetary influences coincide with the reasons why we tend to go out with those who are below us in levels of intelligence, earnings, and so on. Or, why we are attracted to those who soar above us in almost every respect?
This issue applies to both men and women. Those who are insecure about themselves and have convinced themselves they don't deserve someone who is successful, brilliant, a high-earner or a good provider. They are much more at home with the kind of partner who needs them - then they feel validated.
Getting into a co-dependent relationship - which requires one partner to be the eternal provider and the other the eternal child or enabler is obviously not healthy - yet too common.
Astrologically, a focus on the signs of Cancer and Pisces and/or a lot of Neptune influences can link with the tendency to take on lame ducks. Neptune in the Seventh House either in the natal chart or by transit, especially when conjunct the Descendant, can result in a string of dates and partners who are needy or addictive.
If either parent lacked confidence or self-esteem, or had major health issues, this too would be picked up by the child. The child thus may not have access to healthy beliefs about what they can expect from life, and this again translates to unsatisfactory relationships.
Possible astrological configurations for this may be shown by Saturn/Sun contacts, Saturn/Venus, Saturn/Mars or Saturn/Moon connections, as well as others.
If you tend to date above yourself then you probably still have self-esteem issues, but may be hoping that your wonderful partner will help transform you from the ugly duckling or frog you suspect you are to the prince or princess you really want to be.
In this case Saturn/Jupiter contacts may highlight a scenario in which you want to improve your life, but also suffer from a foreboding that your lover may find out you are 'faking' it.
Pluto, the dwarf-planet, is another culprit when it comes to messing with relationships, particularly Pluto/Venus connections. Though Pluto is transformative, it often shows up first as a block that we can't transcend, which again may come from our parents. In relationships we may be attracting losers who aren't going anywhere, no matter how many therapists, shamans, or light workers we take them too. They resent you meddling in their business and you resent the fact that they won't make an effort to improve.
We may also attract those with power complexes who feel it is their duty to make us into their ideal image because they believe they are practically perfect. We drag our feet and try a little, but our hearts aren't in it.
Relationships need work, but some are so heavily weighted in one or the other direction that there may be no hope of getting it right. If you find yourself dating above or below yourself on a regular basis, and feel like a failure in some respect as a result, you may need some help getting to the root cause.
Awareness is the key. Once you see what you are doing and why you are doing it, it is much easier to make lasting changes and enjoy the partnership of your dreams.