I'm going to start this blog post with a quote from a book called Attached, "The more effectively dependent people are on one another, the more independent and daring they become". Attached is a wonderful resource that I encourage you all to read, it's written by Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller.
Now, back to the quote! "Effectively dependent" are the key words, co-dependency is a different thing that we will cover in another post! Effective dependency looks like good communication, trust, and healthy boundaries. We want to be able to depend on our partners, to be there, to support us, to listen to us. Being able to effectively depend on our partners is the crux of a good relationship. In our current society it's taboo to need someone else, we are constantly reading and watching messages saying "independence is important" and "depending on a partner is weakness" when in actuality it is the exact opposite. Being able to depend on your partner requires vulnerability, yes, but it will create more independence when you are able to depend on your partner. When you can confidently say, "I can depend on and trust my partner to be there for me" it then gives you the confidence to be independent in your actions. You can go do the things you need to do and be sure that when you come back you have a partner who supports you.
The question then becomes "how do I cultivate this in my own relationship?" The answer is vulnerable communication, trust, and healthy boundaries. When you have a problem with something pertaining to your relationship have a discussion about it, talk about how you are feeling and possible solutions, or, if there is no solution let your partner know that they don't have to fix it for you. If you are having trouble trusting your partner when they leave to go do the things they need to do make sure you are taking care of yourself too, only once your own self is filled with love and trust can you extend that to your partner. Lastly, healthy boundaries, if you are needing some time alone make sure you explicitly tell your partner, make sure your boundary and the reason behind your boundary is clear, there needs to be no confusion. Confusion or unsaid expectations leads to hurt feelings.
As always, if you or someone you know is struggling with this concept feel free to message me directly to set up a coaching session.
I support individuals who find their lives are unbalanced, whether that's from working too much, having unhealthy relationships with themselves or others, or simply needing more from their lives.