Everyone wants to feel that “one-of-a-kind” fairytale romance in their lives. That doesn’t mean you can’t understand reality or you want some kind of fantasy that doesn’t exist. But who wouldn’t want complete satisfaction in their relationship?

You might not be dating an actual prince or princess, but does it ever feel like it? Are you so head-over-heels for your partner that you often feel nothing could be better? 

If so, congratulations—again, that’s what everyone wants, right?

But, when everything seems so supercharged on love 24/7, it’s important to take a step back. Why? So you can reevaluate why you might feel so strongly about your partner. If you’re satisfied and completely in love, that’s one thing. 

But could you also be more dependent than you realize? Some people struggle with emotional dependency and use their relationships to fill that void. So, how can you tell the difference between dependence and satisfaction in your love life?

Selflessness vs. Selfishness

When you’re in love and satisfied in your relationship, your thoughts should automatically drift to your partner. A strong relationship is best when both people are focusing on each other’s needs above their own. It’s not a competition, and it’s not about “who does more”. Instead, it should be fun trying to think of things you can do for them simply because you love them. 

Satisfaction means not expecting anything in return for your efforts. You’re completely selfless in what you do simply because you care about that person. 

When you’re dependent, on the other hand, most of your focus will be on your needs. No one likes to be called selfish. And it’s likely you don’t realize you’re acting that way. But a dependent person might have such a fear of losing their partner that they require constant attention and reassurance. 

If you find yourself doing something for your partner solely because you want something in return, that’s not satisfaction, it’s dependence. 

Loving Your Partner vs. Loving Anyone

Being satisfied in your relationship should be directly connected to who you’re in a relationship with. It’s your partner who should make you feel that way and vice versa. While that person doesn’t need to be your whole world, they should absolutely be the main focus of your relationship. 

Dependency flips that idea on its head. Someone who is emotionally dependent may not find satisfaction in their partner, specifically. Instead, their contentment comes simply from being in a relationship, in the first place. 

If you love being in a relationship more than you love your partner, you’re likely more dependent than satisfied. Could your current partner be replaced with anyone and you’d be just as happy? If so, it may be time to take a closer look at what your relationship really means to you. 

Freedom vs. Submission

In healthy relationships, both partners should experience growth. You both should be free to express yourselves in different ways, learn more about each other, and learn more about yourselves. When you’re content and satisfied, you’ll be thrilled about your partner’s growth. You’ll be excited about your own growth. 

Dependence is different. 

A dependent person wants their partner to fully submit to them and their relationship, rather than to experience growth. Again, you might not realize how selfish that seems, but it can cause your partner to give up on the things they want simply to be there for you.  

Dependent relationships often don’t last because they’re so hyper-focused on one person. If you’re worried that you’re struggling with dependency, feel free to contact me. Together, we’ll work toward a better understanding of where that dependency comes from, and how you can start to let it go in your relationship. 

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