Has Your Relationship Cost You Your Independence? 10 Signs You’re Way Too Codependent

Has Your Relationship Cost You Your Independence? 10 Signs You’re Way Too Codependent ©iStock/RobertoDavid

When you’re in love, it’s normal to get pretty attached to your partner. However, if you start feeling like you literally can’t live without the guy you’re dating, you might have a problem. If you’re questioning whether what you have is simply true love or something much less healthy, ask yourself if you’re displaying any of these signs of codependency:

  1. You Find It Hard To Focus When He Isn’t Around. If you struggle to concentrate when you’re at work and constantly find yourself preoccupied with what he’s up to, it could be a clear sign that you’re too involved in each other’s lives. There’s a fine line between interest and obsession. Keeping parts of your lives separate maintains a balance, so make sure you have some time apart each day.
  2. You Aren’t Happy Without Him. If his absence induces an instant depression, you really need to find another source of fun. You can’t be around each other all hours of the day, and your happiness should never be dependent on someone else. While you should be happy when you’re around him, you need to remind yourself that you’re capable of finding the same joy on your own.
  3. You Do Too Much For Him. Do you wash his laundry, clean up his messes, make his bed, and cook him dinner? Unless he’s doing the same things for you, you’re probably in an unbalanced relationship. You’re not there to be his caretaker. Responsibility is necessary for him to grow as a person, and doing everything for him will make him almost completely reliant on you. That might be fine with you if you enjoy tending to others, but it’s not healthy in a romantic partnership. You want someone to be with you because they want to be, not because they need to be.
  4. You Treat Him Like A Child. If you pander to him all the time and treat him like he’s fragile, you’re creating an unhealthy relationship. Being an adult means not shielding your partner from the hard stuff. You’re meant to be equals, and you’re not at that level if you talk to him like he’s helpless.
  5. You Tip-Toe Around Tough Conversations. In a healthy relationship, you should feel comfortable to voice your views and opinions without fear that you’re going to get dumped. If you have to choose your words carefully around your boyfriend, then you might have a serious problem. Relationships are about honesty, and you shouldn’t have to filter yourself in front of your partner.
  6. You Feel Threatened By His Independence. If the thought of him having fun without you terrifies you, you might want to start asking yourself why. His independence shouldn’t make you anxious or nervous. If it does, it means that you’re way too insecure in your relationship. Just because you’re both self-reliant doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy being around each other.
  7. You’ve Stopped Taking Care Of Yourself. If you spend all your time caring for him, when will you have time for yourself? Self-care is important and necessary. If you become too involved with tending to someone else, you may lose track of all the things you used to do to take care of yourself back when you were single. Besides, it really is true that you can’t properly love someone else until you love yourself.
  8. You Start To Lose Your Identity. Co-dependency can result in you losing exactly what made you so special at the beginning of the relationship. One day, you might wake up and realize you’re a completely different person than you were just a few short months ago. Be sure to keep your own interests and nurture your own passions.
  9. You Can’t Separate Your Emotions From His. When your boyfriend’s bad day instantly becomes your bad day, this is a bad sign. It’s one thing to be empathetic, but you shouldn’t automatically feel the same way he does over something that wouldn’t normally affect you. It’s healthy to feel sad or angry for him if he’s going through a rough time, but when you find yourself unable to be happy until his mood is at 100 percent again, it might be time for you to get some emotional distance from him.
  10. You’ve Wondered If You’re Too Codependent. If you’ve questioned this yourself, you probably already know the answer. When it comes to things like this, it’s always best to listen to what your gut feeling is telling you. That little voice that’s telling you your relationship isn’t completely healthy might be right, and at the very least, you should hear it out.
Michelle Elman is a body confidence activist, certified life coach, creator of Scarred not Scared, and founder of Mindset for Life. She’s written for publications including Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Grazia and appeared on ITV’s “This Morning,” Sky News, Loose Women, and more. She’s also the author of the book “How To Say No.” You can follow Michelle on Instagram at @michelleelman, on Twitter @michelleelman, or on her website, MichelleElman.com.