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What is Codependency?

By: McKenna Leavens

More than ever before, I feel like there is an overwhelming amount of toxic relationships. What makes a toxic relationship and how does one get to that point?  

The answer is codependency. 

If you aren’t familiar with this, it means having an excessive physical or emotional reliance on your partner — so it’s the complete opposite of independence. 

A lot of people seem to throw this word around and portray it as a goal you should reach as a couple. In reality, being codependent is scary and can cause a lot of issues that take a very long time to heal from. 

I’m not saying relying on your partner is a bad thing, but codependency takes it to a whole other level.

For example, you’ll begin to lack self-trust in your individuality and solely value the approval of others. Being codependent doesn’t just affect your relationship but it affects who you are as a person.  

This can also take a toll on your friendships and family life. When we become excessively dependent on our partner we start to push others away because our sole focus is on the relationship. If the only person in your corner is your significant other you’re doing something wrong. 

I have always been in a relationship and for the first time in forever, I am single.

At first, the thought of being alone scared me. Now, I live in a studio apartment by myself and am thriving being alone.

I am 20-years-old, and if I am going to fall in love it might as well be with myself. I have plenty of time to have other relationships. 

I suffer from the symptoms of codependency. I started to feel like I had no power and zero self-esteem. I began to question who I was as a person because the only validation I wanted was from my partner. The true validation I should have been looking for was within myself.

I think some of us struggle with codependency, and it is so important to recognize these traits and stop them before there’s no point of return.  

A relationship should be like a Venn diagram. You both should have your own circles and lives but share a part in the middle that overlaps.

When your Venn diagram starts to look like one huge circle that’s where you went wrong. Respect each other’s space. I promise you can still be your own person but also be their person as well.

Be with someone who highlights all the amazing parts of you and helps work through the parts you struggle with. 

Relationships aren’t rainbows and butterflies all the time, but they also shouldn’t be crying and yelling all the time either. Support and build each other up, but most importantly strive to be your own people.


Have you ever been in or seen a codependent relationship? Let us know on Instagram and Twitter!

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