Grace, dear, has anyone told you that just because you deserve a good man does not mean that any good man you pick out of the hat is going to be right for you? You found someone who would have pleased the sense of everyone concerning what you need, except you. Realizing this, you honored your own intuition and your own sense of self, and you decided to keep looking. It was hard, but you didn't string him along out of fear or a self-centered desire to find an "undamaged" man. You let him go to find happiness with someone who would give him the gift of finding him "the just right man at the just right time." That wasn't a bad thing! That was just what you ought to do!! Good For You! Wonderful!! You have the idea, now!! Turn on the applause sign!!
I'd also hazard to say that the "losers" you dated actually did have some redeeming qualities. Maybe they trusted you. Maybe they were fun and uninhibited. Maybe nine days out of ten were pretty good. OK, maybe they had some faults that felt comfortable with your faults, and not in a healthy way, but is it such a huge fault to fall in with what is comfortable? I don't think so. Maybe they were just a "drying out" from being the man you'd happily spend a lifetime with. OK, you can't wait around for them to wake up to the life they're missing, but don't beat yourself up for seeing that they have some wonderful qualities waiting to be unshackled from their addictions. Giving yourself credit for leaving a comfortable situation that wasn't good for either of you.
Tori Amos sings: "I have enough guilt to start my own religion"...what does that tell you? It tells you that you are not alone. That song is popular because it reflects the human condition. It's a vale of tears, and we're all in it together.
Have you ever watched The Simpsons? Have you noticed that no one on that show is a total "loser" and no one is a total "winner"? Even the most jaded and self-centered, whether Mo or Mr. Burns, have their attractive human moments. Everyone on that show is capable of love. Even the most weak-willed, like Homer and Barney, have their moments, in which they rise to heroic virtue. Everyone on that show is capable of virtue, and sometimes chooses virtue, and likes it. Even the most "mature", like Lisa, Marge, Ned Flanders, and the Rev. Lovejoy, have their faults and failings. Everyone on that show sins, too, and feels the pain of it. I think that is why it has lasted so long. It is a cartoon, it can be totally over the top, heaven knows it does not always have the best grip on moral law, but the writers do have this sense of the complicated nature of the human condition, and a love for all of us in it.
For instance, you wrote: Never had a mature uncomplicated relationship with a guy. I couldn't count the number of couples I know who've been married for over 50 years, but I don't know anybody that has uncomplicated relationships, mature or not....not if they're honest. The refreshing thing is that the older couples are totally honest. Most give a variation on the old guy who gave his "secret" for his long marriage: "Every morning, I get up, I look in the mirror, and I remind myself: Hey, you're no prize, either." Most people who got married before 1960 get this. For some reason, this practical point of view has fallen out of vogue, even though I dare say it has kept marriages together and content for centuries.
There seem to be people like these, the ones who take the complications as a matter of course, then those who take the complications as evidence of their shortcomings as a human being, and the majority, those of us who fall somewhere in-between, depending on the time of day. I think everyone is a little bit right about that. Maybe today you are just stressing the view of "group 2" a bit too much for your own good.
God does not expect us to straighten up and present him with a perfect package, tied with a bow, as evidence that we love Him. We can expect to fall short. We can expect every human being put on this earth to love and support us to fall short. Not just cosmetically short, either. I mean painfully short. We all fall painfully short as human beings. We are nothing, and I do mean nothing, without God. But I say: *What of it? We were never meant to be without God in the first place! *
Don't worry about getting yourself "self esteem". Like happiness, it isn't something you find by looking for it directly. Look for virtue, look to repent from sin, and try to learn to trust that you can let God take care of the gap between what you are today and the saint that He will succeed of making of you in the end. You are dealing with the playwright who came up with the original ugly ducklings that turn into swans, the mustard seeds that become huge bushes for the birds, the ditch that became the Grand Canyon. Be willing to let that little persistent stream of His grace course through you, a little deeper every day, and you can trust that He will make a grand thing of you, too. After all, if you read the psalms, they are not full of "self-esteem". There's a lot of calling out to God in hope in the midst of suffering and desperation and there is a lot of gratitude and rejoicing in the Lord after His rescue, but not a lot of self-esteem. I think that is a reliable message to the desperate.
You can give a counsellor a chance without handing over the entirety of your self-direction and bank account. Try counselling, see if it helps. I don't know many people who don't learn something from just talking openly for a good chunk of time to someone discrete. After all, you're only looking for help in considering where you are, not a character-surgeon. If counselling helps, great, it was money well-spent. If not, well, feel free to try something else. Just as you were right to trust your intuition on this last relationship, you can allow yourself the room to trust your intuition about whether counselling helps.