The relationship between two people can vary widely from person to person. For some, strong emotional connections start very quickly, and for others it takes much longer to reach the same level of mutual understanding or love. But no matter how you define your relationship dynamic, there can be warning signs that one person may become too emotionally dependent on the other.
One potential indication of emotional dependence is when one partner takes all of the responsibility for the relationship and where decisions are made. It may seem like one person is always trying to solve any problem, regardless of how big or small it is, or take top billing in the relationship. This imbalance can slowly become unhealthy in what would otherwise have been a mutually balanced and beneficial relationship.
Another sign of a partner who is becoming emotionally dependent on you is when they begin to exhibit possessive behavior. They might become jealous if you so much as look at another person or hold the attention of anyone outside the relationship. It could even go as far as to control what you watch on television or where you go, depending on their feelings. These feelings might be based in love, but they are also often rooted in fear and insecurity.
On the other hand, if your partner is neglecting their own emotional needs in favor of giving more to you, then it means they may be emotionally dependent on you. This is a tricky dynamic because it can take the form of “self-sacrifice” or “love”, but either way it means that one person is not tending to themselves adequately and may be looking to you for validation and approval.
Another common symptom of emotional dependancy is when your partner expects you to fix their problems rather than take steps to solve or address them on their own. This could range from expecting you to plan most or all of the date nights, to being overly reliant on your thoughts and opinions when making decisions. This doesn't mean that seeking someone out for advice is wrong, but there is an unhealthy understanding when the expectation is to always provide a solution and never to hear any kind of criticism.
The last and perhaps biggest sign that someone is emotionally dependent on you is when they express a fear of abandonment. Common expressions of this could be asking if you are still planning to stay in the relationship, or feeling like they have to do whatever it takes to please you. Though these behaviors might come from a place of love, they are actually a result of one partner feeling controlled and scared of the other leaving.
These are just a few of the warning signs of an emotionally dependent relationship. The best way to tell if your partnership is heading down an unhealthy path is to evaluate how it feels from both perspectives and make sure neither of you feel like their needs are being overlooked. With open communication, respect and kindness, a healthy relationship should be achievable.
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