When one declaration of love is not enough: how to understand that you are dependent on your partner

When people enter into relationships, they somehow become dependent on each other. This, for example, is noticeable after a quarrel: the partners have said all sorts of things to each other and are now worried about the safety of the union. However, sometimes addiction becomes not very healthy, and then nothing good should be expected.

What does “dependence on a partner” mean?
There is no official diagnosis like “love addiction.” And in general, many scientists are inclined to believe that falling in love is an addiction. More precisely, it causes an effect similar to euphoria. When a person sees his beloved, he feels happiness, a surge of strength and energy. And when he is forced to part with his partner, he experiences melancholy. This kind of dependence is quite normal.

Psychologists distinguish a separate category of emotional dependence. This is a condition when a person experiences severe discomfort if he is not near his lover. He constantly wants to keep the person in sight, otherwise panic begins. At the same time, not getting what they want, addicts withdraw into themselves, they develop depression and insomnia.

Typically, emotional dependence indicates low self-esteem. A relationship where one of the partners is dependent risks becoming unhealthy. At the same time, the aggressor who uses psychological violence, humiliates or controls can be either the addict himself or his partner.

How to distinguish a healthy addiction from an unhealthy one
Anyone can face relationship problems and self-doubt. The main thing is to track exactly how you react to difficulties and cope with them.

Fear of losing relationships

When it's ok
This often happens at the very beginning, when partners are not sure of complete reciprocity. But these feelings can also arise in couples who have been together for a long time.

Relationship anxiety is normal as long as it doesn't take over and control you. For example, if it suddenly seems that your partner has cooled down, a conversation and signs of attention from him will be enough for you to calm down.

At the same time, you are not afraid of being alone. Yes, losing a partner is scary and unpleasant, but you don’t cling to him like a straw. You love spending time with your lover, but you don’t fill your space entirely with them. It doesn't hurt you if he wants to see friends, visit his parents on the weekend, or be alone.

When it's not okay
The addict worries about the relationship all the time. For example, she worries that her lover will not be bored if he is not around, or that he will not help in a difficult situation. At the same time, the partner shows a different attitude: he often confesses his love, cares, gives gifts and shows all sorts of attention. But for an addict this is not enough. He continues to doubt the sincerity of his feelings, and he needs more and more confirmation.

The fear of breakup is so strong because addicts cannot stand being alone. Emotional and physical distance from a partner is disturbing. As a rule, it is difficult for such people without a relationship in principle - they are constantly looking for a couple and very quickly start new romances. This can end badly: Fear of being alone can cause addicts to end up in unhappy and even harmful relationships.


When it's ok
According to psychologist Vanessa Roberts, jealousy is a feeling when you worry that something or someone is threatening your relationship. For example, it may occur when you see another girl flirting with your partner. This is a normal feeling. Yes, it causes a lot of unpleasant emotions, you can be angry or sad, but everyone can face jealousy.

The difference between healthy jealousy and unhealthy jealousy is how you deal with it. If you are jealous, this is a reason for conversation. And the conversation does not take place with shouts and demands. Instead, you acknowledge your vulnerability and share your feelings and fears. In a healthy relationship, your partner responds to your concerns and you discuss together what to do about it. As soon as the reason for jealousy disappears, you feel calmer.

When it's not okay
Sometimes jealousy can cause unhealthy behavior. The addict is so afraid of losing a person that he sets conditions and begins to control his partner.

Signs that jealousy is turning unhealthy:

You watch your partner's every move.
For example, you constantly ask for your geolocation or demand to show messages on your phone.

You have angry outbursts.
It's normal to feel angry and upset when you're jealous. But if attacks of jealousy end in screaming and breaking dishes, this is not very good.

You are isolating your partner.
First you don’t like her friends, and then her mother becomes a threat to the relationship. Therefore, it seems that the best way to protect your union is to prohibit your partner from communicating with loved ones.


When it's ok
Conflicts are completely normal and even beneficial for relationships. They help you understand what isn't working between you and how to fix it. Talking and delving into each other's feelings is not very fun and even uncomfortable, but it is necessary for the relationship to become better. For conflicts to be truly beneficial, they must be healthy:

You and your partner listen to each other.
Both points of view are considered important, and you seek a compromise that suits everyone.

Don't throw accusations and talk about your feelings.

For example, use “I messages”.

Don't get personal.
You discuss a specific situation, and do not find fault with each other. No “you’re always like this.”

Be direct. You do not remain silent and do not run away from a quarrel.
When it's not okay

The goal of the addict is to maintain the relationship at all costs. For such a person, conflicts are not a way to resolve problems, but a threat to them. The addict will do everything to avoid quarrels.

According to psychologist Abby Medcalf, people avoid conflict because they are afraid of upsetting their partner. In their opinion, if a lover is disappointed, he will definitely leave. Addicts don't want to rock the boat and will do anything to avoid difficult conversations. For example, they will always please their partner in everything.

Running away from conflicts only harms relationships. Firstly, negativity accumulates. Ultimately, a person will simply throw out all his grievances, and it is not a fact that he will do it in a healthy way. Secondly, the addict runs the risk of falling into an abusive relationship. Afraid of losing his beloved, he will agree to all the conditions of his partner, as long as he does not leave.

How to break your emotional dependence on your partner
Take care of yourself
Emotional dependency occurs when people don't know how to take care of themselves. Relationships satisfy many needs, but it is important to be able to do it yourself. Ask yourself: what do you need from your partner? How could you fill these emotional needs yourself without relying on another person? The answers to these questions will help you understand which area of your relationship you need to work on.

Find the reason
See where your addiction grows from. Perhaps you have been cheated on in the past and now you find it difficult to trust other people? Or did you face humiliation as a child, so now it’s difficult to accept that you can be loved? At what point did you start acting this way in a relationship? Once you find the reason, you will understand what you need to work on to become more emotionally independent.

Learn to enjoy being alone
Being alone is the main horror of an addict. However, psychologist Daniel Downin believes that everyone needs time alone with themselves. Take up a hobby you love, be it yoga, drawing, learning a new language, or something else you've been wanting to do. It may be difficult and worrying at first, but later you will begin to enjoy your independence.

Make a list of your strengths
If the root of your addiction problem lies in self-doubt, it's time to remember what you're good at. Make a list of your strengths: what are you cool at? What character trait helps you in life? This way you will see that you can do much more than just be a good partner.

Contact a specialist
Emotional dependence is difficult to cope with on your own, so you can seek help from a psychologist or psychotherapist.

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