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What is emotional dependency? How can we identify it? How to differentiate it from love?

The signs of emotional dependence

Emotional dependence is the affective need of presence or contact of one person towards another to cover different areas of one’s life, which is conditioned depending on what the other person does or does not do.

We are talking about emotional dependence…

  • When your self-love is relegated to another person.
  • When the hours of your day are marked by the presence or absence of the other person.
  • When your daily goal is basically to receive the message or call from that person.
  • If all of your environment a single person takes all your attention and attachment.
  • If you get happy when you communicate with that person and if this does not happen you feel sad.
  • If your emotions depend on the actions of the other person.
  • If you feel that you can not be without seeing or being with a certain person.
  • When all your universe is reduced to that person.

If the bond with that person becomes harmful, involving more unpleasant than positive things, stay away. Let it go. Even if it hurts. It can be difficult, expensive, but… what is the cost you are willing to pay to continue with this relationship that generates so much discomfort?

What to do to not suffer for this?

Listen, watch yourself. What impact does this emotional pain have on you? Are you able to endure it in order to continue this link?

If it’s love, it should not hurt. We are socially and culturally accustomed to the fact that it is valid to suffer for love, to die of love, to need the other to live, to be happy. We see it in novels, we hear it in songs like “Without you, I’m nothing”, “I need you”. Phrases made so naturalized, that subtly we are incorporating the idea, and just a bit of vulnerability is enough to believe it. But that is not reality.

The reality is that you do not need anyone concrete to live, to breathe, to be happy. Truth be told, you do need someone: yourself. You need to love yourself, value yourself, respect yourself. You are going to live with you the rest of your life. And one of the most rewarding things to grow is to be and feel independent. In every way. Although it is not easy to assume economic independence, in many cases it is more difficult to assume emotional independence.

This does not mean having to solve everything individually in life, not form a partner or believe yourself omnipotent. It means that if we need help we must request it but not remain attached to that person, permanently and exclusively. A healthy way to socialize and exchange help with others refers to the flexibility and variability of resources to avoid falling into a stalemate. There are many ways to help yourself.

Steps to follow

In the first place, we must recognize that we are going through a problematic, unpleasant, toxic situation: in this case we are talking about a relationship that is wearing us down, deteriorating little by little. At this point it would be interesting to evaluate what kind of relationship is and what unites them: is it love? Obsession? Necessity? Or custom?

Second, we must accept the harmful nature of the bond and encourage us to make the decision to move away, to take a healthy distance.

Third, we must look for resources that make it easier to carry out that decision. Resources both internal and external.

The strengthening of self-esteem is one of the main keys and can be generated with self-care behaviors that gratify us, give us back the love towards ourselves. Request help from a professional, start a sporting activity, recreational, playful, supportive, go for a walk with friends or family, generate new social circles. Constructing or reconstructing one’s own path is fundamental to be able to undertake the path of detachment from what generates us more harm than good. That which harms us.

“Take care of yourself, take care of your self-esteem, take care of your dignity, your identity, take care of who you are. Value yourself, respect yourself and be respected.”

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