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6 Nov

How to Not Be Codependent & Learn to Stand on Your Own Feet

Everyone relies upon their partner, but for everything? It’s time to learn how to not be codependent and exercise your own independence.

It’s your independence day! You must learn how to not be codependent and stand on your own two feet. Your life, and relationship, will be better because of it.

The red flashing light of warning

You love your partner, you can’t stand it when they’re not with you. You think about them almost all of the time. Ah, the first flourishes of love! Of course, as time goes on, the constant need to be by their side does fade a little, but you miss them a little, all the same.

This scenario is normal and even healthy, but what happens when you feel bereft when your partner is away from your side, and you can’t function independently?

Red flashing light time! In this case, you’ve become dangerously codependent. You need to remember your independence.

Everyone has certain dependencies on their partner, usually emotionally and physically, but what about your own life and your own needs? It’s healthy to have your life as a person in your own right and your life as a couple. The two mix and overlap, but you always maintain your independence, and your sassiness too.

I don’t want to highlight the negative here, but if you’re codependent on someone else, what happens if they leave? I mean, hopefully they won’t, but what if they do? How will you function?

You won’t, you’ll turn into a mess and struggle to find your feet again.

Is that what you really want for yourself?

Of course not!

What does it mean to be codependent on your partner?

I need to take a step back and define this for you. I don’t want you panicking and thinking you’ve lost your identity just because you feel better around your partner. It’s normal to feel different when you’re in your couple bubble, but codependence is an excessive reliance upon your partner, usually for your emotional needs.

It’s not that you can’t complete day to day activities, that’s not what this is about. It’s about the way you feel and how you handle your emotions. Someone who is overly codependent has a low EQ. EQ means emotional intelligence and dictates the way we can control our emotions and deal with others around us. It also dictates how we form attachments to others, and whether we’re able to remain independent, or whether we go down the line of losing ourselves. When you’re codependent, you’re losing yourself.

For instance, your partner might have to go away for a couple of nights for work. During those nights, you’re bereft. Instead of taking the opportunity to have some ‘me’ time. Perhaps go out and see friends, have a solo Netflix and chill evening and enjoy the foods that they don’t like but you love,. But instead, you sit wallowing, waiting for the phone to ring.

When the phone does ring, your emotional surge of happiness is almost like a drug-induced high, which lasts for a while after the call has ended, but is then replaced by sadness and a longing once more.

It’s no fun and to be honest, it’s not attractive either.

How to not be codependent and find yourself

As you can see, there’s no fun in being so dependent on someone else for your happiness. So how can you stop the codependency deal and learn to focus on yourself? The only person who should control your happiness and emotions is you. Sure, we’re affected by what goes on around us, but we should also be able to control extreme emotions and reactions, simply because we know they’re not healthy or useful.

Let’s look at a few ways you can work towards regaining your emotional independence, and how to not be codependent on your partner. The ironic thing is, your relationship will likely improve as a result!

#1 Have regular time apart. While you probably want to do everything together, it’s just not healthy! You need time on your own or with your own friends and that means having regular time when you’re away from your couple bubble. Of course, your partner also does the same and you have to trust each other too.

You don’t have to have endless days apart, but one day a week when you go and see friends and they do the same. Maybe a night where you go off and do something on your own too. This regains your independence, boosts your confidence, and gives you more security in your relationship.

#2 Ask yourself why you’re so codependent. Why do you feel so dependent on your partner? Is is because of a bad past relationship? Has your partner been unfaithful in the past and now you’re a little untrusting?

Try and pinpoint the reason for your codependency. Only when you know the reason and what you’re dealing with can you put a plan of action into place.

#3 Find some new interests. If you can distract yourself from your codependency, you’ll soon see it drifting away. So, head out and find some new interests that you do without your partner. This can be an evening class, like learning a language, a new hobby, writing a book, joining the gym, or  simply immerse yourself in your job and make that your focus for a short while. After a little time, you’ll find yourself feeling far more powerful and confident.

#4 Focus on yourself. When you’re codependent on someone else, it usually means that you’re throwing all of your time and attention at them too. Turn that around and throw time and attention at yourself!

Focus on healthy eating, exercising a little more, do more of the things you love, and stop making your partner your be all and end all. By doing so, you’ll feel stronger within yourself and take back your own power.

#5 Reconnect with your partner on a different level. Changing things around a little might help. It could be that your relationship has fallen into a rut of the same thing day in, day out. So, shake things up a little; plan a mini break, have a regular date night, do things you wouldn’t normally do.

By incorporating this with time alone, you’re boosting your own confidence, improving your relationship, and you’ll have a lot more to talk about as a result!

Codependence doesn’t mean you don’t need your partner at all

Learning how to not be codependent doesn’t mean you’ll never rely upon your partner for anything again. Part of being in a relationship is being vulnerable enough to need your partner too. What you need to achieve is an equal balance between your independence and your relationship.

Its normal to miss your partner when they go away for a short while, and even when you’ve been away from each other for a few hours. It’s normal to wonder what they’re up to and where they are. This is part of being connected to another human being on an emotional level. What isn’t healthy is needing your partner to feel happy and grounded. That needs to come from within you, not from another person, partner or otherwise.

By learning to be more independent, you’re not moving away from your relationships. You’re simply enhancing your life, regaining your identity, and also improving your relationship. You’ll have much more to talk abut, you’ll be stronger and happier, and your partner will notice these differences as a huge positive too.

Being dependent upon another person isn’t healthy. In that case, learn how to not be codependent and understand your own power. You need to breathe as two separate people for a healthy and normal union.

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