When you meet a new man, it’s easy for him to become the center of your universe. Of course, it’s nice to feel that way, and you want him to be a part of everything in your life. The thing is, if you allow him to infiltrate every corner of your being, you easily become dependent on him for your emotional well being. That in itself is a huge mistake, and why you should learn how to stop being emotionally dependent on your boyfriend.
Are you emotionally dependent on your man?
A good way to figure out whether you’re emotionally dependent on your man is to think about how you feel when he’s in a bad mood for no specific reason. Everyone gets like this sometimes, and it can be as random as a passing bad mood due to bad weather.
When he gets like this, how does it make you feel? Do you mirror his bad mood? Does it make you feel unsettled? Do you get a little needy and ask him what’s wrong several times?
If you do, that’s a sure sign that you’re emotionally dependent on your man.
[Read: 10 scary signs of codependency in your relationship]
No judgement here, I’ve done the same several times in the past, but I’ve learned from my mistakes. What you need to do is learn how to stop being emotionally dependent on your boyfriend from this point onwards.
You cannot and should not be dependent on anyone else for your emotional well being. That can only come from inside yourself. Sure, if something happens in your boyfriend’s life, it’s normal to worry about him and want him to feel happy and upbeat again.
When you’re on a constant rollercoaster of emotions simply because his moods are up and down, it’s time to take back control and maintain a sense of emotional harmony.
[Read: 5 ways to feel more secure in your relationship]
Why do we become emotionally dependent on others?
Learning how to stop being emotionally dependent on your boyfriend is also about understanding why it happens in the first place. There is something called emotional intelligence, or EQ. This is nothing to do with IQ, and it isn’t a measurement of your intelligence at all.
Everyone has a different level of EQ, and the higher that level, the more able you are to separate your emotions from those around you and maintain your own emotional identity. This also means that you’re more able to control your emotions in heated moments.
The reality is that most of us have low EQ, and we’re therefore at the mercy of our emotions and sometimes, the emotions of others. If you have empathy traits, it’s also likely that you’ll be affected by negative emotions from those close to you on a regular basis, and it’s important to understand how to separate those in order to be happy and balanced in your life. [Read: Are you too empathetic? Here’s how to detach for a healthier life]
Despite your EQ level, being in such close proximity to someone makes you susceptible to their changes in mood. If you live together, this will be even more pronounced. Remember, when you meet someone, you open yourself up and allow yourself to be vulnerable. By doing this, there is a certain amount of fear involved. As a result, you’re subconsciously on the lookout for any problems which might cause choppy waves to affect your relationship.
The answer? Chill out!
[Read: 10 relationship hang-ups and how to deal with them]
How to stop being emotionally dependent on your boyfriend
Now we know why we become emotionally dependent, and we know it’s not the greatest idea. So, learn how to stop being emotionally dependent on your boyfriend and maintain harmony.
The first step? Acknowledge the fact that everyone’s moods fluctuate up and down naturally, and it doesn’t always mean that there is a huge problem related to your relationship affecting him. It could be as simple as his car has a slight problem, he’s stressed about work, he didn’t get enough sleep last night, or he’s just in a general mood and will snap out of it in a few hours. You do the same too, but you just don’t realize it!
Once you acknowledge this fact, you will find yourself worrying far less. Not everything is about you and your relationship! From there, turn your attention inwards and focus on number one. By doing that, you’ll increase your EQ levels, and that effort will benefit you in several different areas of your life too.
A few suggestions include:
– Make regular dates with your friends to go out and have fun, away from your relationship
– Learn a new skill, or perhaps enroll in an evening class and learn a new language
– Dedicate your time to healthy living and do some exercise, perhaps even joining the gym
– Try meditation. This is ideal for helping you to remain calm and focused
– Think about where you are in your life and any goals that you might like to start working towards, e.g. in your career
[Read: How to be independent even when you’re in a relationship]
These are all ways you can focus on yourself and enrich your own life. Ironically, by doing that, you’re learning how to stop being emotionally dependent on your boyfriend because you’ll have more to think about than just his fluctuating moods! You’ll become more confident, more grounded, and you’ll be emotionally healthier as a result.
By doing all of this, you’ll also find that your relationship is enriched. You’ll have more to talk about, you’ll have interests that you can share details of, and you’ll be happier as a result. This might even kick him out of his mood! [Read: The 15 signs of a healthy relationship you should always look for]
The importance of maintaining your own identity
Even if his moods don’t affect you, it’s important that you maintain a certain degree of separation anyway. This doesn’t mean living two lives, it means maintaining your own identity and not simply becoming one half of a couple.
You are your own person. Yes, you’re in a loving relationship, but it doesn’t mean that you’re not still you, with your own likes, dislikes, aims, goals and life. There are many risks associated with allowing yourself to be completely taken over by a relationship.
I don’t want to jinx things, but what if your relationship was to end suddenly? If you haven’t maintained your sense of self, what will you do when you suddenly find yourself without the so-called other half of yourself? You’ll be lost. Discovering yourself again will take a lot of time and effort. [Read: 16 things you need to do if you want to respect yourself in the relationship]
It’s not all about ‘what if it ends’ either. It’s also about enriching the quality of your relationship and ensuring that you remain strong, confident, and within yourself. Losing yourself in a relationship is the last thing you want to do. You’re a wonderful and compassionate person with your own opinions and views. Why do you want to lose all of that? Maintain your own sense of self at all costs.
Your relationship will be much stronger if the both of you have a certain amount of freedom in terms of your own friends, interests, and views. It’s something everyone should be aiming towards. As a result, you’ll be happier together and be in awe of each other every day, without being dependent on the other.
[Read: How to stop being codependent and have a healthy relationship]
Understanding how to stop being emotionally dependent on your boyfriend is something we all need to be aware of. Allowing yourself to maintain your identity is vital. It’s time to focus on yourself.
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