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"And if you're the enabler in a codependent relationship -- meaning you promote the other person's dysfunctions -- you can prevent them from learning common and needed life lessons." Breaking up isn't necessarily the best or only solution.To repair a codependent relationship, it's important to set boundaries and find happiness as an individual, says psychologist Misty Hook, Ph D.However, handling a codependent person involves more than just getting him to change; it also involves a certain level of distance on your part.Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional.
Experts say it's a pattern of behavior in which you find yourself dependent on approval from someone else for your self-worth and identity.
"Individuals can also assume they are in a codependent relationship if people around them have given them feedback that they are too dependent on their partner or if they have a desire, at times, for more independence but feel an even stronger conflict when they attempt to separate in any way," says psychologist Seth Meyers.
"They'll feel anxiety more consistently than any other emotion in the relationship," Meyers says, "and they'll spend a great deal of time and energy either trying to change their partner or …
One key sign is when your sense of purpose in life wraps around making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner's needs.
"Codependent relationships signify a degree of unhealthy clinginess, where one person doesn't have self-sufficiency or autonomy," says Scott Wetzler, Ph D, psychology division chief at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.