Do you rely on your partner to provide your happiness, self – worth, and sense of identity? Or do you lack trust in yourself and value your partner’s approval more than you value yourself? Well, if your answer is yes, most probably you’re in a codependent relationship.
Society teaches us that every successful and long-lasting relationship is built upon compromise and requires give – and – take. We enter relationships with the idea that when we truly love someone we put their needs before ours and we do our best to make them happy. And this is all fine as long as it’s done in a healthy manner.
Love is and it always should be unselfish, but if you always put the other person first in your relationships, at the expense of your own mental and emotional health, and you lose yourself in them, you run the risk of becoming codependent.
So, if you’re codependent and want to stop compromising your needs and desires in a relationship which is bad for you, you need to learn how to value yourself and treat yourself with respect and dignity.
Here are 5 effective ways you can achieve that:
1. Remember that your happiness can’t be determined by your relationship.
When you’re in a self – defeating relationship, it can be quite difficult to leave your partner because you believe that being with your partner is the only thing that could bring you joy and satisfaction. You start sacrificing yourself and your needs, interests, wishes, and goals, and you start to invest all your love, attention, and energy into your relationship – a relationship that is unhealthy and doesn’t bring you any good.
Maintaining your relationship becomes your main goal. You rely on your partner to feel happy, fulfilled, and worthy. And honestly, what’s more detrimental than that?
You need to understand that there are many other things that can make you feel happy and content, and your relationship is just one piece of them. For example, your family and friends, your job, or your hobbies and interests – all of these can contribute to your happiness and make you feel good about yourself.
2. Stop being afraid of spending some time alone.
Many people stay in codependent relationships because they’re afraid to be alone and the mere idea of a break – up terrifies them. They cling on to their partner to fill their emotional void. But, you need to understand that being single for some time doesn’t mean you’re lonely or don’t have a purpose in life.
Okay, at first, you might feel a little bit lonely, especially if you’ve just come out of a long relationship, and you’ll definitely need time to get used to the new status. But, all this will go away when you start feeling the benefits of being alone.
You’ll have enough space to think about your needs, feelings, priorities, interests, opportunities, and options. You can reconsider your decisions and plans. Being alone will help you rediscover yourself and find out what you really need and want in your relationships.
You know, sometimes being with yourself is the best company you can ever have. You can learn that you can really enjoy your own company and have fun. When you start appreciating being on your own, you realize that you don’t need anyone to make you feel happy and fulfilled. You understand that you don’t have to make compromises and sabotage your own happiness for someone who doesn’t deserve your love and attention.
3. Stop forgetting to treat yourself with kindness and love.
One more reason why it’s hard for people to get out of their codependent relationship is their belief that they won’t find anyone better. They think they won’t be able to find someone who will want to be with and “put up with” them. But, this is a complete non – sense.
You enter a romantic relationship with someone because you love them, and not because you’re doing them a favor by dating them. And if you’re not aware of this, it’ll get harder for you to leave your relationship over time. That’s why you need to start accepting and appreciating yourself for who you are. Your flaws don’t make you less worthy and there isn’t any reason why you should be feeling like this.
Once you realize your worth, you will start treating yourself with respect, kindness, and tenderness. And you’ll never allow yourself to be with someone who doesn’t love and respect you the way you deserve.
4. Stop thinking that emotional intimacy can be only experienced in romantic relationships.
Friendships, too, can be emotionally fulfilling as romantic relationships. Having honest and loyal friends can help you realize that there’re many other ways in which you can fill your emotional void. It can teach you that you don’t need to make your romantic relationship your primary focus.
When you’re going through difficult times, true friends, and family members as well, are the people who stay by your side, lift you up, and help you overcome your problems and boost your self – esteem. They unconditionally and unwaveringly support and care about you.
Your friendships will undoubtedly make you realize how wrong you’ve been the whole time sacrificing yourself and your happiness by investing every part of yourself in a relationship which is actually bad for you. They’ll also help you realize that you shouldn’t settle for mediocrity in your romantic relationships because you deserve much more than that.
5. Stop canceling on friends and putting everything on hold when you meet someone new.
If you’re distancing yourself from your friends or postponing your plans and projects until later whenever you enter a relationship with someone, you can take this as a sure sign that you’re already caught up in a codependent relationship.
By putting everything on hold and giving up on things that matter to you, you’re eventually going to give up on yourself. You’ll forget what your goals and desires are. You’ll begin to feel that you’re responsible for the well – being and happiness of your partner. And this will certainly not get you very far in life.
You need to learn to take care of your own wants, priorities, and problems first and then about those of the others. You need to become more aware of your worth and understand that you have a life outside of your romantic relationships, which can be fun and worthwhile just like your emotional relationships.