It might be hard to realize sometimes, but there’s a difference between being in love and being emotionally dependent on someone. Many people refer to their partner as their other half. That sounds romantic, but knowing how to function on your own is important. Before you can be in a serious relationship that lasts, you need to be confident with who you are and what you want out of life. A relationship that is based on codependency instead of love won’t last.
Here are 9 important differences between love and emotional dependency:
1. Do You Focus On Giving Or Getting?
True love is about giving, not getting. It’s about bringing joy to the person you love. If you are more concerned with what you are getting out of a relationship than what you’re giving, it’s a sign that your relationship is based on emotional dependency rather than love.
2. Do You Hold Your Partner Responsible For Your Well Being?
Have you placed responsibility for your health, happiness and safety upon your partner’s shoulders instead of your own? This is a true sign of dependence. If you don’t know how to live or make yourself happy without this person, you are emotionally dependent on them.
3. Are You Stuck In A Fantasy Land?
Have you made up the perfect Prince Charming in your head? If the role you have created of the perfect partner is simply a role, then you aren’t in a relationship with an actual person. You are in a relationship with a fantasy version of that person. This isn’t love.
4. Are You Just Looking Or Are You Seeing?
Are you just putting up with your partner? Or do you accept who they are, flaws and all? Be honest about what you see when you look at your partner. Do you see an idealized image of who you want them to be? Or do you see their true self, and love them for who they are?
5. Do You Have A List Of Expectations For Your Partner?
Do you have a mental or physical list of expectations that you partner must meet in order for you to feel satisfied with the relationship? It’s good to have standards, but keeping an unrealistic expectations list for your partner in order for you to feel loved, safe or satisfied is a sign of emotional dependence.
6. Are You Focusing On The Inside Or The Outside?
Attraction is important in a relationship. But basing a relationship off of what you see on the outside isn’t a solid foundation. Love is considering how your partner makes you feel, instead of what he or she looks like. If it’s appearance that matter to you the most, you may be focused more on dependency than love.
7. Do You Feel Empty Or Anxious Without Your Partner Around?
If you feel empty, overly anxious or fearful when your partner isn’t around, chances are you’re overly dependent on them. It’s OK to miss your partner when the two of you are apart. But alone time is important for your own mental and emotional health. Not knowing how to be alone is a sign that you are emotionally dependent on your partner.
8. Do You Realize The Difference Between Want And Need?
We all want certain things out of a relationship, but is your “need” list over the top? If you don’t have inner happiness or peace, you may be looking for someone else to fill requirements in order to make you happy.
9. Have You Found Yourself?
You have to practice self-love and self-acceptance before you can be in a lasting relationship. Who are you? What are your passions, dreams and goals? What’s important to you? If you aren’t able to answer these questions, you may be using your partner to fill a void in your life that only you can fill.