The fine line between healthy and unhealthy attachment in a relationship

It is natural to seek love and support from your partner – developing a mutual, healthy support system within the relationship. But sometimes a dynamic develops where individuals start to rely on their partners for their sense of self. They find that they need constant validation and reassurance and they start becoming solely dependant on their relationship for their sense of happiness and self-worth.

Love can start to feel like an addiction.

Here are 10 signs that you are too dependant on your partner:

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1. The fear of loss and separation creates constant anxiety in the relationship

When you feel insecure in a relationship, fear of loss and separation can start to overwhelm you. Instead of focusing on what you have, you start focusing on what you could lose. This creates constant anxiety. Even the briefest periods of separation and being apart can induce panic.

2. You neglect your relationships outside of your romantic partnership

It is easy to shift your focus to your romantic relationship when you first fall in love. But it is unhealthy to neglect all the other important relationships in your life. You lose your autonomy when you become too dependant on your partner and you become alienated and distanced from family and friends.

3. You don’t enjoy doing things alone anymore

You feel the need to be connected to your partner at all times. As a consequence, the things you once enjoyed doing alone no longer feel fulfilling and you start to lose your independence and your self-sufficiency.

4. You are constantly with your partner

Couples struggling with codependence find that they cannot be without each other. They become joined at the hip and they do everything together. This means that there is little room for personal growth and for individual aspirations to flourish.

5. Your interests start to mimic your partner’s

You set aside the hobbies you once enjoyed so much to make room for your partner’s hobbies and interests. It is wonderful to discover new interests, but not at the expense of your own. Your individuality is compromised and you start to abandon the things that make you feel good about yourself.

6. You constantly seek validation from your partner

You rely heavily on your partner for affirmation. Your self-worth gets tied up with your partner’s words and actions and you struggle to tap into your own resources to feel confident and good about yourself. This dependency can take its toll on your partner, who might unconsciously start reacting by pushing you away.

7. You easily become jealous

Insecurity breeds possessiveness and possessiveness leads to jealousy. Jealousy is not an attractive or a productive emotion, and it can only lead to conflict.

8. You want to control your partner

The need to control someone stems from the same place as jealousy. By trying to control your partner, you get a false sense of security. But inevitably, controlling behaviour has the reverse effect, pushing our most loved ones away.

9. Your relationship is your only source of happiness

Once you have become so consumed by your relationship that everything outside of it feels unimportant, you become solely reliant on your partner to make you happy. This puts a huge amount of pressure on the relationship. Your happiness should never be contingent on anyone else.

10. You don’t feel good about yourself anymore

A natural outcome of neglecting your interests and compromising your individuality is the loss of a sense of well-being and inner peace. It is not possible to feel good when you have disconnected from yourself, your family and your friends. Life is about balance and you lose this balance when you become too focused on your relationship.

Source: W24