Are you concerned that your attraction to another person has become unhealthy? Do you feel that you have become obsessed with your relationship? Are the feelings you experience around this person overwhelming? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be relationally dependent, which is commonly referred to as codependency.
Here are some common traits & characteristics of relationally dependent people that you can use to gauge your own situation. Because the dynamics of attachment styles are complex, these traits should not be considered as a complete list. Consider each one carefully and decide if this speaks to your situation of someone you care for.
- You become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to a person without taking the time to get to know them.
- You fear abandonment & loneliness, causing you stay in and return to painful, destructive and abusive relationships.
- You involve yourself in more than one relationship at a time, both emotionally & sexually.
- You confuse love with obsession, using controlling behaviors directed towards your partner(s) with the hope of keeping them from leaving you.
- You feel empty inside, even while in a relationship, causing you to search for new love interests.
- You spend money you don’t have on a romantic interest, causing you to go into debt.
- You use sex & emotional involvement to manipulate and control others.
- You become preoccupied with a romantic interest and are unable to concentrate.
- You attach yourself to emotionally unavailable people and abusive partners.
- You compulsively search for new relationships – even if you currently in one.
- You obsess over, monitor and perhaps stalk an the object of your affection.
- You assign unrealistic qualities to those you are attracted to, believing they can bring you happiness and save you from your loneliness.
If you found yourself nodding your head “Yes” while reading these traits & characteristics and feel that they speaks to your situation, it may be time to dig a bit deeper, as you may be codependent or relationally addicted. Consider speaking with a mental health professional trained in relationships, such an addictions counselor or psychotherapist. Being in love doesn’t have to mean living in agony.