Relationships don't "just happen." How your act and thing while in a relationship is not "your natural self." After years and years of studying relationships, we know the Law of Attraction is a powerful force. We also know the physical part is only a very small part of the "Attraction." What we are primarily attracted to is the compatibility of energy between you and another person. This is why we tend to get into relationships with the same kinds of people.
If you are emotionally insecure, you will be more attracted to someone who is emotionally dominant. The opposite is also true; if you are emotionally dominant, who are more attracted to someone emotionally insecure. This doesn't mean you LIKE this attraction, because these kinds of relationships rarely last very long. Unfortunately, we are not taught how to separate feeling attraction from falling in love. We tend to merge them into the same thing when they are very, very different experiences.
Co-dependency develops when children and teenagers we are not exposed to healthy love relationships. The feelings we have toward another are not clearly understood and we are extremely vulnerable to emotional influences. As a result we over-invest our feelings in another. We believe we must do or think certain things to please another for fear they will reject us or hurt us in some way. Then when we get hurt, we blame ourselves for not doing or thinking better.
Here are a 10 examples of how co-dependency works:
- You hold back from saying what you want, waiting for the other person to take the lead.
- You feel resentful when don't get your way, because you are always giving in to others.
- You believe others should know how you feel and be considerate of you, even though you rarely share your feelings, except for anger and sadness.
- You are quick to give advice to others about how to correct their lives, but rarely follow your own advice.
- You quickly deny the accuracy of feedback given to you by people who love you, because it is hurtful, or they "don't understand."
- You add on or embellish emotionally painful experiences to make sure your situation deserves more attention or is worse than someone else's bad situation.
- Your feelings and thoughts are merged. What you think you are expressing as a feeling is more often an opinion. When others have a different perception of your situation, you complain that they are not respecting your feelings.
- You make rash statements of "fact" when you are actually expressing frustration or confusion.
- Your thinking is often "black and white" or "all or nothing." Shades of gray are not tolerated because everything must be one way or the other.
- Absolute words like "always" and "never" are inserted in statements of how you perceive other people, like: "He always makes nasty comments." "She never lets me do what I want to do."
People are not born co-dependent. This is learned and reinforced throughout childhood. The good news is that it can be eliminated. The bad news is that you have to do the work, because no one can or should do it for you. Yes, you can be happy. Yes, you can have a loving relationship. Yes, you can change and it is not nearly as fearful and scary as you think it is.