Codependent vs. Interdependent Relationships: Everything You Need to Know

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16.12.2019

There are different types of relationships, and most of them fall somewhere down the middle of the line between two absolutes, codependency and interdependency. But what do these two things mean? What are interdependent relationships? What are codependent relationships? What is the difference between interdependent vs codependent relationships? Let’s find out. First, we will define codependent relationships.

codependent in relationships

Definition and Signs of Codependent Relationships

Let’s first start with the codependent relationships definition. A codependent relationship is an unhealthy, inadequate or dangerous union. I would say that in such relationships, fear and lust prevail over love and abundance.

It is normal to wish all the needed support and confidence from your partner to be sure that your relationship is unique and special. But codependent people really need the constant approval of a partner. Such relationships can be arranged in different ways. Sometimes, both partners suffer from an inadequately strong attachment to each other, and in some cases, only one of the partners depends on another one, while the second can even enjoy their power and control. If you suspect that it is you who are the dependent partner, the list below will help you find out if this is actually the case. And if the symptoms listed below apply to your partner, they may be dependent on you.

1. Are you afraid to make independent decisions?

If you feel the need to involve a partner in all aspects of your life without exception - ask them for permission to meet with friends, or to accept the offer of promotion, this may mean that you are in a dependent relationship.

Of course, it is worth listening to the opinion of the partner, but if you cannot make any decisions at all without their approval, you may be too dependent on them. Long-term relationships require compromises from time to time. But if you are scared to make decisions without asking for the opinion of a partner, this may mean that you do not trust yourself. Therefore, you choose not what seems right to you, but what your partner wants. If you are sick of a relationship like that, then you have to remember how easy it is nowadays to meet a single girl online and do it from the comfort of your home.

2. You are ready for anything, just to avoid quarrels and disputes

What are narcissistic and codependent relationships? If you most often agree with your partner on any matter - from politics to the menu for dinner, this may mean that you are well suited to each other. But consent in 100% of cases can be a sign of dependence. This means that you do not have your own opinion and your own identity. An emotionally mature and healthy person who feels love and trust is not afraid to express their opinion, even if it does not coincide with the position of the partner. But a dependent person would rather remain silent, fearing that their disagreement could provoke a quarrel that would jeopardize the future of relationships. Disputes and disagreements should not be feared: in a healthy relationship, partners are well aware that they cannot have a single opinion on all possible issues.

3. The interests of a partner are always more important than your own to you

Are you codependent in relationships? Those of us who are inclined to please others, for whom the needs and requirements of a partner are more important than their own, are especially prone to co-dependence. Such people constantly solve other people's problems and have an unhealthy tendency to over-care for others. A similar form of co-dependence - excessive care - is found not only in romantic relationships.

4. Are you ready to sacrifice principles for a partner?

Each of us has certain boundaries of the comfort zone, which is unpleasant to go beyond. If you notice that you regularly violate these boundaries for the sake of a partner, this may mean that you are interdependent. For example, you adhere to the rule of never lending more than $ 50. But when your partner asked to lend them a larger amount, without giving any serious reason, you give up and agree. And you convince yourself that you are doing it out of love. You sacrifice your principles - as if you are starting to forget who you are and what acceptable to you is. These are not real relationships, one should not sacrifice their principles for someone else.

5. A partner’s passion that you don’t share plays a big role in your life

Showing interest in the hobbies of our partner, we show that we are ready to try something new for ourselves to spend more time together. But we are not obliged to love everything that the partner likes. In those couples where partners maintain close, but at the same time, healthy relationships, they give each other the opportunity to engage in their hobbies separately from each other. If you notice that a partner’s hobbies and passions begin to drag you despite the fact that you are not interested in them, you should think: where does the need to accompany them to every football match or heavy music concert come from? codependent relationship recoveryIf these activities do not match your personal preferences, ask yourself: do you really feel welcome with this person? Do you feel calm and safe? More often than not, a willingness to give up one’s interests and values for the sake of a partner’s love is a clear sign of insecurity.

6. You are constantly jealous

Codependent partners usually suffer from low self-esteem. Because of this, they feel a threat of competition from people with whom their partner maintains a relationship, even if they are close friends or relatives. As a result, jealousy and discontent accumulate in their hearts. Usually, they do not show these feelings to their partners, so as not to endanger the relationship. They think that if a partner has any relationship with others, they are not so needed anymore. This often leads to passive-aggressive behavior. In a healthy relationship, partners can sometimes feel envy when they look at a relationship of their loved one with a friend or relative. But they never let this envy destroy a couple. If they express their objections, they do so without any bitterness and accusations.

7. You need to always know where your partner is

Nowadays, e-mail and messages in instant messengers have become common forms of communication. But if you send such messages to the partner too often, this may indicate co-dependence. Of course, if something bad happened, you would like to know about it right away, but constant text messages to your partner may be a sign of a lack of trust.

It is quite normal to exchange messages several times a day. But if you send one message after another when your partner communicates with friends and start to get angry and anxious when you do not receive an answer, this may mean that your relationship is on a shaky foundation. Non-co-dependent partners give each other freedom and do not feel threatened when a partner spends time with someone else.

8. You insistently demand that your partner must change for your sake

Consent with a partner on all issues is one of the signs of co-dependence. But persistent, annoying demands, and complaints about what your partner is doing or not doing can also be evidence of codependency.

An emotionally mature person is able to tell themselves that they have chosen this particular partner - as they are. In a healthy relationship with reasonable personal boundaries, you can always express your thoughts or share your feelings. But one cannot expect from a partner that they will cease to be who they are. If you are not happy with their true nature, you should rethink your relationship and their prospects, and not expect the other person to change for you. Now that we know a thing or two about codependent romantic relationships, let’s talk about interdependent relationships.

What Are Interdependent Relationships?

What is the interdependent relationships definition? Well, in short, it’s a relationship in which two partners can be quite independent on their own, fulfill all of their tasks and goals in life without any negative interference on the part of their partners, yet who can be considered a loving strong couple by all the imaginable standards out these. These couples are very rare, but every couple should strive to be just like that.

1. There is room for personal development

When peace and harmony reign in your healthy interdependent relationships, then you will develop. You will make new friends; you will change work for the better or climb the career ladder. Your partner will help, they will neither hinder nor envy success nor complain that all attention is paid only to work, and you've forgotten about them. Being in a relationship that is not interdependent, one day you will notice that your circle of friends has narrowed, there is no growth at work, and all your dreams and ambitious plans for the future are “gathering dust on the shelves.” Your whole life revolves only around a partner and their interests, and you are practically dissolved in them.

2. Full acceptance

One of the golden rules of relationships is that one must accept a person as they are. You can, of course, dream that the partner will change under your influence (and, perhaps, it will be so), but you cannot force them to do this. First, such attempts are likely to lead to scandals and disagreements. Secondly, you fell in love with this particular person, with their habits and shortcomings. So, you were aware of what awaits you.

3. You feel calm and relaxed when your partner is near

You should be comfortable and calm next to your partner. If today you soar in heaven with happiness, and tomorrow you are already breaking dishes, slamming doors, and thinking about breaking up, and this happens all the time, then there is a reason for such thoughts. Emotional outbursts and instability are signs of a relationship that is not interdependent.

4. You don’t need the proof of each other’s love

Partners in an interdependent relationship know that they love each other, and they just feel good together. If you or your soulmate constantly need proof of love, this means that one of you has doubts about the sincerity or strength of the feelings of the other. And one day this little crack can turn into a real chasm.

5. There is self-awareness in your relationship

An interdependent relationship is a union of two self-sufficient personalities when you or your partner are not trying to compensate for some of your own shortcomings or insecurity at the expense of the other. If the relationship began only because of the desire of at least one of the parties to assert themselves, then they are unlikely to be happy.

6. Strong interdependent couples overcome all the problems

Problems are common in couples. It can be difficulties associated with both the relationship between you and those that concern only one of the partners. However, in strong couples, problems become the obstacles, after overcoming which your love only grows stronger. And of course, partners never blame each other for what happened but are aimed precisely at overcoming difficulties. If the troubles provoke you only to conflict, then it is worth considering how serious your relationship is.

healthy interdependent relationships7. The word that unites you is “confidence”

Jealousy is one of the reasons for many breakups. However, if you are confident in your partner, and they are confident in you, then there will be no suspicions and phone-checking. And even a light fleeting flirtation within reasonable limits will not lead to scandal. Not to mention someone else's hair on the suit: you never know who rides the subway and suffers from hair loss.

8. There is love in your relationship

And the main indicator of an interdependent relationship is that you both are ready, first of all, to share your love. If you are confident in yourself, do not try to assert yourself at the expense of your partner and know your worth, then you will be happy to share your feelings. It also happens that in the first place you need love and expect it from your soul mate. Then you will have to realize that you have to work together, painstaking and sometimes very hard on your relationship. Or maybe you're just not ready for them yet.

How to Maintain a Healthy Interdependent Relationship

And now for the most important part, here are 5 tips on how to maintain a healthy independent relationship that can potentially help you with the codependent relationship recovery process.

Be open to your partner

Sincerity is at the core of any healthy relationship, no matter how you want to call it, whether it is interdependent or mature, the phrasing isn’t all that important. A healthy relationship is based on trust, when you can rely on your partner and not be afraid of their actions, you are not jealous of them, you know that you don’t have anyone closer to you on Earth.

Support each other

Sincerity is what allows you to empathize with each other, it is very important in a relationship. But even if you don’t always seem to understand each other, down to the last word, your sincere support for each other can patch all the cracks in your union.

Learn to give personal space

Can codependent relationships be fixed? Personal space is the thing that often seems to be overlooked, especially by co-dependent people. Personal space is crucial in any relationship, even though it may be quite hard to leave your partner alone, but everyone needs to spend some time alone, doing the things they love, and you should respect and obey this right.

Find mutual hobbies and interests

Finding things that two of you enjoy will bring you closer together and thus, it will make your bond even stronger. You will have more topics to discuss other than the monotonous conversations about work, household chores, and taxes.

Encourage the best traits in each other

This is the thing that is often overlooked in relationships. A healthy interdependent relationship should lay the groundwork for the future development of both partners, and it should only motivate the two of them to grow. It should bring emotional profit to both partners and make them better.

The difference is quite clear. Codependent relationships are toxic, they are poisonous to a person, they suck out all the life out of them and waste away all the energy and time that can never be given back to a person that is under its influence. Interdependent relationships are rare, yet when you two are independent and strong but become even stronger together – nothing will stop your relationship from flourishing.

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