We as human beings are hard-wired to develop personal relationships with others. As social animals, we thrive in forging strong friendships and romantic partnerships. When we enter into relationships that are healthy and balanced, we’re more productive, less likely to experience anxiety and depression and, in general, more satisfied with life.
Though, it’s important to recognize that while there are positive benefits associated with being part of a thriving community of friends and family, some relationships can be toxic when those connections are built using unhealthy forms of emotional attachment.
Take a few moments today to assess your current relationships. Are they helping or hindering your personal journey? And, it’s especially important to identify destructive relationships if you’re starting a new sober lifestyle since that chaos can often trigger relapse. (It is important to note that most addiction recovery specialists advise clients to avoid forming romantic partnerships during the first year of recovery. Your health should be your utmost priority during this important chapter of your life.)
Here are a few warnings signs of relationships that perpetuate unhealthy emotional connections.
(1) Being overly dependent on the other person.
One important trait commonly found in healthy partnerships? A balance of interdependence and independence. Both individuals should feel empowered to spend time alone – pursuing their career goals, hobbies and other personal interests. But, it’s a dangerous pattern of behavior when one or both parties only enjoy spending time with the other person.
(2) Prioritizing their partner’s feelings.
Healthy relationships often rely on a healthy dose of compromise. But, partnerships that constantly prioritize the needs of one person typically create an environment of resentment and hostility. Do you feel like any of your current relationships are one-sided?
(3) Being more of a parent than a partner.
On common symptom of unhealthy attachment is when one half of the couple is more demonstrative – telling the other person what to do and always coming to their rescue when something goes wrong. To form an equal partnership, both parties should bring a healthy sense of confidence and independence to the table.