Contributed by Stephanie G.

Have you ever had that friend who is around all the time, but when they are in a relationship they are nowhere to be found?  Then after year, they are suddenly back in your life. Or is that person you?  Being dependent in a relationship is harmful.

When you first meet, you are excited and want to spend lots of time together.  But as the weeks turn into months, you realize you have left your friends behind.  Then when there is a rough patch in the relationship, you have no one to turn to or that’s when you reach out to your friends.  During these times you are afraid to end the relationship because you will be all alone.  Or maybe you do see your friends but they start to avoid spending time with you because your only topic is your relationship.

This may be very upsetting but the dependency happened because you and your partner allowed it.  Each partner needs to have the room needed to grow and prosper.  Without in-dependency, you can become needy and paranoid, which will in the end destroy your relationship and most importantly, your self-esteem. If your partner is creating a relationship that requires you to be dependent on them – keeping you away from friends and family, taking over financial matters, and son on – they could be leading you into an abusive relationship.

Here are some tips to keep your in-dependency while being is a loving relationship:

Plan to spend some time apart. Go out with your friends and spend some time with them doing an activity.  It is okay to update your friends on your relationship but keep it short; focus your attention on relating with them and talk about other things. Don’t pick up your phone to check for texts or phone messages and don’t call your partner.  You are both adults and are capable of taking care of yourselves.

Let your partner have time alone. You do not need to accompany your partner everywhere.  Encourage them to spend a night out with their friends. Let them go to a work function on their own.  Don’t call them or text them from time to time; just let them be.  Meanwhile, do something that you love to do and did often when you were single.

Don’t rely on your partners for everything. If there is something you don’t know how to do, you can ask for help. But sometimes we rely on our partners to do every little thing that is even slightly challenging, or we ask them to help us.  Pick out your own clothes.  Choose what to eat. Balance your own checkbook. You can do it; you did it before.

Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t rely on your partner for anything and be too independent, that is also trouble.  What I am saying is that it is important to hold on to who you are as a person, and protect yourself.  Spending time apart allows you to miss each other and bring new stories to discuss when you are together again.

Do you have some in-dependency tips?  We invite you to share your ideas in the comment box below.