Love and emotional dependence: These two effective psychological phenomena can get confused, generating many problems.
Love and emotional dependence are not synonymous, far from it. The world of emotions and human relationships may be confusing and difficult to investigate, but the truth is that these two elements present many differences that allow discrimination between one and the other. And thank goodness, because the consequences of confusing them can become very negative.
Unfortunately, myths about affection and relationships make not everyone clear about the differences between love and emotional dependence. Many times, the simple fact of believing in a stereotype about what the perfect love relationship should mean that we become as pigeonholed as the concepts we use to think of affection and affective ties.
Distinguish between love and emotional dependence
Loving and dependence are not, and can not be, the same. That is why there are many differences between love and emotional dependence. Here you can find the main ones.
1. Contact search vs. Avoidance of loneliness
In emotional dependence, everything that the relationship brings us is posed in a negative sense, whereas with love the opposite occurs. That means that in the first case the contact with the other person is a tool to make the discomfort disappear, while in love the company and the presence of the other is something that produces well-being.
In other words, in love being with someone brings a positive value, while in the case of emotional dependence this is seen as a resource to avoid the lack of someone, and therefore the elimination of something negative is sought.
2. Live the experience vs. Have tools
Practically all the good that a loving relationship offers us has to do with the subjective value of the experience of being with someone. That is, we can not explain in words which aspects of our lives are improved by the presence of someone we love.
However, with dependence, the opposite occurs. Here, when we think about the relationship, we tend to identify very specific aspects of our life in which the presence of the other is noted. For example, the possibility of accessing a group of friends, the fact of not having to go back to live in the parents’ house, etc. In some way, the relationship is seen as a sum of these options to improve our lives, it is not something that goes far beyond this union of advantages.
3. Option to negotiate vs. Blind faith in the relationship
In love, it is clear that although to maintain a stable relationship you have to make certain sacrifices, they must be reasonable and it is perfectly legitimate to question their limits.
The difference that this aspect marks with respect to dependence are that in this second the limits are not even questioned by sheer fear. Here, the relationship is not seen as something dynamic that can be adapted to the needs of both but is perceived rather as a series of rigid rules in which we must fit. This makes the dependency grow more since the possibility of damaging the relationship with any small detail makes it is paying attention constantly.
4. Wellness care vs. Attention to obsessions
In love, what matters is the well-being of the people involved, and the relationship is only the means through which there is a fit between people who enjoy mutual contact.
In the case of dependency, however, attention is directed to the idea of the relationship itself, which is almost always composed of stereotypes and rituals that must be repeated over and over again. That is, the relationship is used as a way to give a predictable and stable structure to the day today.
5. Love that person vs. Wanting what that person offers us
In love, the target of all the positive emotions we experience in the relationship is always the person for whom we feel that strong emotional bond.
In contrast, in situations of dependency, what is valued is all those changes that the possibility of relating to that person has introduced into our lives.
6. Flexibility vs. Fixed schedules
In love, the freedom of each person involved is something that is taken for granted. That means that, by default, it is assumed that everyone can do what they want, and exceptions have to be provided and have a justification.
Independence, what is taken for granted is a certain routine, with which any transgression of these customs produces discomfort?
That is why one of the main differences between love and dependence is that the second can be compared metaphorically with addiction, since it consumes Much of the time and the greatest emotional impact it causes is the discomfort generated by leaving the schedules.
7. Potentiation of low self-esteem
Love does not have to make our self-esteem better, but dependence does make it worse. The reason is that, when a feeling of vulnerability is constantly perceived, the concerns oriented to facts that do not depend on oneself (such as the fact that the other person is a few minutes late on returning home) feed the idea that You can do nothing to avoid the discomfort.
So, how are the experience with your partner? You both are in love or living in emotional dependence? Comment your thought in the comment box…
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