h2>Dating : Emotional Dependency Could be Ruining Your Romantic Relationships
All of us need reassurance and support from our partners. In dating, it’s pretty necessary to be with someone who is there for you and fulfils you emotionally. But what if this goes a little too far?
What is emotional dependency?
In the simplest terms, emotional dependency is when you depend on a person for all your emotional fulfilment. This can happen in all kinds of relationships, and dating is a common one.
If you get little or no emotional satisfaction from your everyday life, your career, your passions, your studies, other people or just from time you spend by yourself, but rather completely rely on your partner to fill that emptiness inside you: you’re emotionally dependent.
Signs that you have emotional dependency in romantic relationships
There are a lot of things that could hint you’re facing this problem, such as;
· Being with your partner is the only recreational or voluntary activity that fulfils and satisfies you.
· You want constant reassurance from your partner.
· You have few or no passions outside spending time with your partner.
· You feel that you can’t leave your partner no matter how badly they treat you or who they are as a person.
· Frequent and/ or intense jealousy.
· You are blind to your partner’s flaws. When you look back at past relationships, you realise you idealised people and constantly failed to notice their shortcomings.
· You cannot stand being single.
· You usually experience loneliness and anxiety when you spend time alone.
· You believe your life lacks meaning unless you have a partner, and you feel that you cannot be happy unless you are in a romantic relationship.
· You try to get into new relationships right after one ends.
Why this is a bad thing
Needless to say, being an emotionally dependent person isn’t great for you or your partner. Emotional dependence often stems from low self-esteem and insecurity, and it will keep you in a vicious cycle of failing to value, appreciate and love yourself.
It will also stop you from utilising your talents and pursuing great things since you spend most of your emotional energy hyper-focused on your partner. This leaves room for little else.
As for your partner, they are likely to experience “burn out” due to the strain and exhaustion from carrying the burden of fulfilling all your emotional needs as well as their own. This causes a relationship to crash and burn in the long run.
It will also make you more likely to date the wrong people. Because you are so desperate to be with someone to feel fulfilled, you will often settle for less or ignore huge transgressions in your relationship.
Emotional dependency can also seriously aggravate anxiety and chronic loneliness, leaving you a complete wreck whenever you aren’t on good terms with your partner or when you have a breakup.
Causes of emotional dependency
· Low self-esteem and insecurity. The belief that you’re not good enough may lead you to make the irrational conclusion that you need someone else to be happy at any given time. These feelings of unworthiness may also cause you to unnecessarily cling to your partner and act “needy”.
· An emotionally manipulative partner that makes you believe you can’t live without them. Sometimes it may be your partner that plants dangerous ideas into your head, making you think that they are the only thing you need to be happy.
· Your upbringing. Some parents raise their kids to rely on them too much for emotional fulfilment, and this dependency can extend to their adult relationships.
· A bad example set by the unhealthy relationships of those around you. If the people you look up to are in emotionally dependent relationships themselves, it’s safe to say that will mould you into thinking that’s how relationships are supposed to be.
How to deal with your emotional dependency
· Acknowledge the problem. Be honest with yourself. This is an issue and you need to work on it.
· Practice self-awareness. When feelings of inadequacy and loneliness creep up, don’t ignore them or try to fill them up with time spent with your partner. Try to ask yourself why these feelings come up and address the source of the issue. Rationalise your feelings and find a way forward.
· Spend time alone. A big part of any type of emotional dependence is not doing anything outside your relationship. Finding a passion like artistic expression, studying something that interests you, trying out for a new job, volunteering for a good cause, etc will help you learn how to find fulfilment outside the confines of your relationship.
· Learn to love yourself. Find out who you are as a person and what defines you beyond just your relationships. Get to know yourself better; your likes and dislikes and fears and dreams. Once you have confidence in yourself and get comfortable with who you are as a single entity, you will lean less on other people for validation and learn to validate yourself.
· Don’t jump into a new relationship immediately after a breakup. Take the time to process the trauma and move on. Analyse what went wrong in the last relationship and what to do better next time. It’s good to also spend some time just reminding yourself of your worth and who you are as a person without them. If not, you risk getting addicted to being in relationships not because you actually like the person, but because you no longer know how to handle being on your own.
· Therapy. If you feel like you need some guidance, you can always seek professional therapy and counselling.
At the end of the day,
We all want good relationships. Emotional dependency is a kind of addiction to the emotional satisfaction you get from a person fuelled by the fears of your own insecurities. It could be getting in the way of your happiness. Learn how to enjoy being yourself, and it could help your relationship be sustainable.