In today’s world, relationships are so fragile and short-lived. This is also the reason why relationship bloggers have such a big responsibility on their shoulders. Their advice is something that is helping relationships survive these days. Therefore, I think instead of writing blogs about what to do in a relationship, we should be writing more about what NOT to do. And that is why this blog is indirectly going to be about what you should not be doing in a relationship.
One of those things being – depending too much on your partner. But there are too many out there who are too dependent on their partners. Have you also been feeling like your partner has been relying on you too much lately? Here are 24 red flags that would confirm your suspicion. Also, check out what you should do if your partner is indeed too dependent on you.
1. They don’t have a personal life
Isn’t that the first thing you observe in your partner when you get a feeling that they are too dependent on you? Your partner does not have their own life. They have a life, and
you are a part of it you are it. And while you may have liked it initially and thought it was charming, after a certain point in time, this clingy behaviour of theirs did not grow on you one bit. On the contrary, it became annoying. Never thought the same behaviour that you once thought was cute would come in biting your butt, did you?
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2. It is your responsibility to take them out whenever
You love them to bits, and no one doubts your love for them. But sometimes, it gets a bit too much when they count on you for everything. Even when they want to go out. A little thing like that! They don’t go out very often and plan their schedule in a way that gets them more time to spend with you. So, when you feel bad for them for not going anywhere or socialising much, you think it is your responsibility to take them out whenever you can. And for whatever reason that may be, including not knowing how to drive or not having any friends, you are the one who ends up getting loaded with that responsibility.
3. Only being with you makes them happy
It is still understandable to an extent if they don’t go out anywhere without you because they can’t drive or don’t have enough friends. But it gets out of hand when they don’t enjoy anybody else’s company but yours. If there is anyone that they want to hang out with is you. So, they go around cancelling their plans with other people no matter how good friends they are. Moreover, they don’t worry about being isolated because again; they rely on you to be with them forever. Now, this may seem sweet, but it is extremely unhealthy, unrealistic and impractical.
4. You have to take their decisions for them
From deciding which laptop is it that best suits their needs to help them decide what kind of investment is beneficial for them, you do it all. While some people might not find any problem with this, it is still a sign of your partner being too dependent on you. You ask why? Well, for starters, even if they are dense about gadgets and have like zero idea about what technology is trending, they can always walk into a store, approach an expert and make the purchase. Sure, they can ask their significant other (you) for help after they have narrowed down their options, but getting the shortlisted brands should be their job.
Coming to the investment plans, there is a reason why there is a field called Finance and Accounts. Because there are people there, who help you make your financial decisions for you. Didn’t think of that, did you?
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5. They become a human sushi roll when you are not around
So, you have finally got some time for yourself and are going to travel for work or leisure. And even though you should be happy about freedom, somehow you can’t stop feeling guilty. And for what? For knowing exactly what you are leaving behind. A human sushi roll.
You know that when you leave, your partner is going to get into their loosest piece of clothing, tuck themselves in a blanket like a caterpillar and watch their favourite rom coms and cry. From the moment you leave the house till the time you are back, you would not notice any significant difference in your home. They would be in the same position that you left them in, probably stinking because they haven’t had a bath in 3 days. They would indeed be a human sushi roll.
6. You see them prioritising you over them
A dash of narcissism never killed anyone, you know! It is okay to be a little self-centred rather than fawning over someone else. And although you might like it if your partner puts you first, it only becomes a red flag when it starts happening much too often. Your partner prioritises you so much that it begins to annoy you because you are a normal person and you also want them to give themselves as much importance as they give you. In some cases, such behaviour may also lead to a self-deprecating attitude, which can be quite toxic.
7. They require your approval to determine their self-worth
You need to constantly reassure them that they are more than they think they are. They need to be reminded of their good qualities because they keep ricocheting back into their cocoon of sadness where they tell themselves that they are not good enough for you or anybody else. Also, you can’t provide them with constructive criticism very often because there are chances of you making them depressed by simply correcting them. If this isn’t a red flag, then what is?
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8. Your partner needs you to be with them all the time
Isn’t this like one of the first signs of being too dependent? Your partner requires you to accompany them everywhere they go. And not just that, you have to make sure that you are happy to be there. Because you would only be inviting another
fight ‘conversation’ for that. And you would not even realise when that conversation would go from “you don’t want to be here” to “you don’t love me anymore.” Phew! This place is just swarming with red flags.
9. They try to control your life
I might be watching too much Dr Phil, but that show is pretty insightful, you know. And one thing that I learnt from there is controlling someone is a sign of weakness. It does make sense because when you feel you are weak subconsciously, you begin to overcompensate for that weakness consciously. So, that explains why a partner who is too dependent who has low self-worth develops a need to control their partner’s life.
10. The thought of living their life without you sends shivers down their spine
I mean it is not criminal to think about your future with someone. But it is really annoying when someone just cannot stop thinking about their life without you in it. Besides wanting you to be with them everywhere, your partner also wants you to be with them forever. It is not realistic, that thought. Especially if you are a person, who does not like to plan things for yourself and love to just go with the flow. It is similar to clipping down someone’s wings. It is really daunting for you.
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11. They don’t let you have any personal time
Personal time must be some kind of an alien concept in your relationship, right? Since your partner wants to be with you all the time, you must rarely get to be alone. Excuse the metaphor, but for them, you need to be like that salt bottle in the kitchen. Easily visible and accessible! I know, probably not the best comparison but you get the point, don’t you?
12. Your partner keeps asking you how you find them
Again, with the reassurance. Everyone likes asking the question, “why do you like me?” because we like getting compliments every once in a while. But when your partner keeps asking this to you all the time, it gets annoying because it shows how dependent they are on you to feel better about themselves. And that is why it is such a red flag when your partner keeps asking you how you find them.
13. Your interests are their interests
You like listening to Panic! At the Disco and Fallout Boy? They do, too. You like reading thriller novels; they do, too. It is like they don’t even go through the trouble of inventing an interest for themselves. They let your interests grow on them because they don’t want to lose you. So much for approval!
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14. They are totally pulling off 500 Days of Summer on you
And I am not talking about Summer here. I mean they are going full Tom Hansen on you. They depend on you for their happiness, to fulfil their fantasies, to keep them in love and to have their happy ever after. And you know what happened to Tom because he relied too much on Summer, don’t you?
15. Their opinions are a copy of yours
So, you have just finished reading a historical or political article. Your mind is blown. You agree with it, and it is as if that article was written for you. Therefore, you share it with your partner with complete excitement. They hear you out and say, “I agree, too!” You are happy that they do but wait a second. What was that? The article that you just read was totally against your partner’s belief system. You know that because for some reason you debated with them about the same thing once before (when they were not so ‘yes madam’).
So, you ask them about what changed their perception and to your surprise, they completely dismiss debating against you. Because they don’t want to have views that are different from yours anymore. They want to have views that are similar to yours as they feel you would like them better this way. Not their brightest idea but that is what a partner who is too dependent on you would usually think.
16. They plan their yearly offs around yours
All couples plan their yearly holidays around each others’. But here is the catch. They plan it together because they probably have a vacation planned for them. When your partner is too dependent on you, they would purposely plan their yearly offs around yours because they want you to spend your time off from work with them. So, you cannot have even a single personal day for yourself. It does not matter to them if you are taking that off because you need to take care of something. They would still take their offs according to yours even if they are just going to be sitting at home and waiting around for you to come back.
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17. Your partner usually suppresses their anger toward you
If you have a partner who is too dependent on you, you would notice that they have two ways of reacting to every situation. When you are calm, and in a state where you are willing to justify yourself and reason with them, they would hurl you with accusations and what not. But when you are in no mood to reason with them and are rather feisty, they would instantly become the calmer one, no matter how mad they are at you.
The reason for this? They are afraid of losing you because they are too dependent on you. Now, I know this is also how a healthy relationship works but if your partner is not too reliant on you, they would not show the other 23 signs.
18. They act like a surveillance camera around you
Ever seen a human CCTV? Every day, because your partner is one? *laughs*
I am sorry, but it is kind of funny. However, I really understand you. Nobody likes a policeman over their head controlling them. You were still accepting the fact that they were trying to control your life but keeping an eye on you and the people around you is a sign of a stalker. This one time, one of my friends called up her boyfriend’s college friend and cursed her for spending too much time with her boyfriend. I naturally yelled at her for doing that, and her boyfriend broke up with her for insulting a good person. She eventually learnt her lesson but lost too much. Safe to say, nothing good came from the constant surveillance and stalking that she spent all her hours doing.
19. If they post something online, you are obliged to like it
I have lost count of the number of couples I have seen doing this. And if you are with someone who compels you to like their every post on social media, I am sorry for you. Why do you think your partner does this? Well, it is to satisfy their need for your approval. They need validation from you that their post is something that is worth liking. Then it would not matter if you are the only one who has liked or commented on their post. It only matters to them what you think. That is not romantic. It is boxing up oneself, which leads to a reduction in the amount of exposure that is required by a normal human being today. It is unhealthy.
20. You can picture your partner in A Doll’s House version 2.0
Have you ever read that play? It is so hard-hitting. The play truly shows the harsh reality of what happens when you live to please someone else. To summarise it for you, A Doll’s House is about Nora, a housewife who believes she has the perfect family because it appears to be happy. Nora has everything. But soon she begins to realise that her life is not hers because she lives for her husband more than herself. She behaves the way he wants her, too. In fact, Nora relies on her husband to provide for her, to shower her with compliments, to make her happy and to do just about everything. Kind of like Betty Draper from Mad Men.
And in the process of pleasing her husband, Nora loses herself. So, if you can picture your partner replacing Nora in a new version of the play, I am afraid they are too dependent on you.
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21. Your friends are their only friends
They don’t have friends because no one is good enough for them.
Sounds ridiculous, right? How can anyone have such high standards for befriending people? They don’t. Let me walk you through the psychology of it. When you want to be with someone, your mind begins to make arrangements to really be with them. This means that although consciously your partner may not realise that they are doing this, their mind is working behind the scenes, subconsciously, to help meet this need. So, what may seem like a coincidence may actually be a well-thought arrangement, even if you don’t instantly pick on it. In conclusion, your partner is probably isolating themselves and losing friends because they want to be with you.
22. You cannot have a lunch break without having your partner call you in the first 10 seconds of it
I hate it when this happens. So, when I was working at an office a few years back, I met a man whose wife would call him the minute it was 1:45 because that was when we took our lunch break. And he would have to answer it. Even if he would delay his break because he has work to finish. If he didn’t answer the call, he would have to be prepared to argue for some 10 minutes once he would call back. It wasn’t cute or loving for him. It was frustrating. He resented it so much. But he could not tell her that because they never kept the communication path between each other open. Honestly, I only felt sad for him!
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23. They fight with you when you do something without them
You cannot have a girls’ or a boys’ night out without them tagging along with you or at least fighting with you before you leave without letting them accompany you. Also, they don’t care about how much time you spend with them otherwise. They want you to do everything with them. You can tuck away your dream of underwater diving in the farthest closet for you can’t fulfil it because your partner, who is hydrophobic, would not let you do it alone. So, you can’t do it without them, but you can’t do it with them either. An awesome situation to be in. Bye bye personal space!
24. People tell them that they are too dependent on you
You know people are not very forgiving when it comes to pointing out the wrong. They are extremely observant. And if not all the time, at least some time you should make them your source for knowing the truth. When you start hearing whispers about your partner being too dependent on you every time you walk into a room, there is a problem. Because there is no smoke without a fire. And they have probably seen it, too. So, perhaps you should start believing your gut feeling now.
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What to do when your partner is too dependent?
There isn’t one thing that you can specifically do when your partner is too dependent on you. Either you can use the easiest path, which is to bitch around about the entire scenario or you can choose to travel through the high road. This may invite a lot of screaming and venting out of frustration, but it is the healthiest option in the long run.
You can talk to them!
Seems easy, doesn’t it? If you think it is easy, do you even love your partner enough? Because everybody who cares about their significant other would think a thousand times before talking about this with them because they would know exactly what they are getting themselves into. Talking about this would involve them hurting their partner’s feelings, and that is the last thing that they would want to do. But when they just can’t seem to pick your hints, it is a sign that you should be upfront with them about it.
Tell your partner how their state of being dependent makes you feel. Speak to them about how it is putting pressure on you that they have so many expectations from you. Tell them that even though you love them, this behaviour is unhealthy for them. And because you care for them, you feel it is crucial for you to tell them what is right and what is wrong for them. Choose your words well!