Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How To Become Co-Dependent In a Relationship If You Are Very Independent As An Individual

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I have often heard people try to gauge the feelings of someone they have just started dating based on that person's ability to show vulnerability and discuss deep-pressing issues with them. Although an erroneous judgment criterium, it appears to be a normalized one; hence, it is worth it to address the 'very independent' individual and teach some tips on vulnerability and emotional expressions. I'll keep it short and sweet.

#1 Understand that effort matters: Going from independence to co-dependence is not as easy as many people think but continuous efforts made to achieve that emotional and psychological co-dependence will go a long way in strengthening your relationship. So be deliberate about it until it begins to come naturally to you. Think of it as developing a new habit - a necessary one for the success of your relationship. 

#2 Become vulnerable: For the very independent person in a relationship, being vulnerable with someone else is considered a sign of weakness, and an unnecessary one at that. However, in a relationship, expressions of vulnerability is a necessity you cannot brush off. It strengthens the bond in your relationship when your partner is able to connect with you emotionally and see you at your weakest. 

#3 Don't handle everything on your own: A relationship is not just for dates, shopping sprees, and adventurous road trips. It is also for sharing difficulties, pain, anxiety, fear and even insecurities. For the very independent individual, such expressions do not come easy but do not panic. You can do it. A very independent friend of mine who recently got married after years of handling things on her own told me how terribly she struggled with sharing her fears with her husband. She had difficult days at work, got home, cried in the bathroom, washed her face before her husband arrived and presented her strong steel self to him. Of course, he could tell something was wrong, but she always felt she could handle it. One day, however, she decided to stop carrying her burdens alone. She had a very upsetting day, got home and felt the urge to cry but she didn't. She suppressed her emotions till her husband arrived, and when he asked how her day was, ran into his arms and cried on his shoulder. She described it as the most soothing experience ever. 

It is OK to cry in front of your partner. It is OK to look ugly while you are crying (not that anyone should be worried about that). It is OK to be vulnerable. It is OK to let your partner see parts of you that others have not and may never get to see. The beauty of co-dependence is knowing that your partner knows you in ways no one else does and is connected to every part of you. XOXO

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