Many people confuse interdependence with codependency. They both hold totally different meanings. Interdependence or interdependence refers to when two individuals share a strong emotional bond while also maintaining their own self-identity in the relationship. Both partners are willingly putting in the effort to meet the emotional, mental, and physical needs of their partners in meaningful ways. Although they still enjoy being with each other.
What Is Interdependence?
Interdependence also differs from independence. Independence refers to when an individual is more focused on themselves. They keep their goals and values above their partner, such a relationship may also lead your partner to self-sabotage.
The healthiest and most powerful way you can connect with another is by being in interdependent relations. They do not sacrifice one’s own values or boundaries. Rather, they are two strong individuals who have their lives intertwined with each other and yet are aware of one another’s separateness and self-identity.
Interdependence vs Codependence
Codependence or codependency generally refers to excessive emotional dependence on their partner. Codependency means when you are focussing on your partner to an extent that you overlook your own needs.
Interdependency means that partners recognize their sense of self-identity and also recognize the need for emotional intimacy without compromising the value system. Interdependency and codependency are not the same things.
You can say that you are a codependent or in a codependent relationship when you haven’t set healthy boundaries and you are unable to communicate properly or effectively. You have people-pleasing behaviour and low self-esteem. Because of poor communication between you and your partner, you are unclear about your physical, emotional, or financial boundaries and are often blaming each other.
On the other hand, interdependency gives both partners in a relationship time for their respective interests or hobbies. They are clear about their boundaries and aren’t afraid to say no.
Interdependency is the best way to establish a healthy relationship. Both partners don’t shy away from being assertive and involved, yet also understand the significance of personal space. When your partner love and values you, you feel surrounded by a place. It feels like home.
If you wish to improve and change from codependency to interdependency, then create boundaries, set a time for self-care, and work on healthy and open communication.
How to Build a Relationship Based on Interdependence
A relationship based on interdependence is based on mutual trust, understanding, respect, and passionate love. The following key points will help you build a relationship based on interdependency.
Knowing what matters to you
To avoid relationship dependency, one must be aware of their priorities. You should know what matters to you outside of the relationship. Set aside some time for yourself. Engage in some activities that will help you enhance your self-love, and self-identity.
Give more attention to your job, passion, dreams or hobbies. By doing this, you will be able to build your self-confidence and become more self-reliant.
Ask for what you want
When you are aware of the things that matter to you, you must ask for them. Be it some time, early sleep, personal space or a separate workspace. Whatever your focus of growth is, make sure you aren’t compromising that for your partner.
Compromises and adjustments are important in interdependent relations. However, your efforts have been for your partner for all these years and have made your relationship one-sided and may be toxic.
Hence, when you are on the journey to build interdependence in your relationship, try shifting your focus to your needs. Concentrate on other aspects of yourself for development, whether spiritual, professional, social or personal.
Spend time with friends and family
Even when we are focusing on ourselves, we crave love and attention. Your partner will not be able to love you in every way. It is nice to have people around with different energies.
Spend time with people outside of your relationship. That person can be your family, friends, your coffee partner at the nearby cafe, your mentor, or anyone you trust. When you are changing your ways, you will need a strong support system to help you establish your goals.
Meeting more friends and family will help you develop trust and hence will make feel comfortable to show your vulnerable side.
Continue pursuing your personal goals
It is crucial to set your personal goals so that you can grow as an individual. If you are in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that it has to be about your partner or that you must sacrifice your dreams. If you give up on everything that is dear to you, then yo are losing out yourself. Continue pursuing your goals no matter what, because it helps you build your personality and confidence.
Sometimes you may have to travel to a new place for a job or to pursue a course. And if you sacrifice the most core value in your life, then you are turning yourself hollow and empty.
Be mindful of your values
Never forget the core values that build your true personal self. Do not compromise on your values in your relationship. Your values are a reflection of your identity.
Make time for hobbies and interests
When you are focussing on your life goals, it is a healthy practice to make time for your hobbies and interests. We feel at peace while doing something we love. It could be cooking, sewing, planting, playing a sport, painting and so on. It will replenish your mood and shift your focus to doing something productive or something you love.
Don’t be afraid to say “no”
Boundaries are a very important part of an interdependent relationship. When you don’t set boundaries, people tend to take advantage of your patience and sacrifices. Hence, it is crucial you draw the line and simply say “No” when necessary.
If your partner oversteps the boundaries, then restate your boundaries. And if they keep overstepping them, it is not a balanced relationship. It simply means that they aren’t respecting your limitations or you as an individual.
Don’t keep yourself hidden to please others
Codependency often leads to people-pleasing behaviour. After being in a relationship making sacrifices and adjustments, you develop this behaviour to keep others’ happiness above yours. If you want to build an interdependent relationship, then make sure you are respecting yourself. Put your priorities above others.
If you are in a codependent relationship and want to move the relationship dynamic to interdependency, you must build boundaries and value yourself. Interdependency is a sign of a balanced relationship where both partners go beyond ways to support each other without compromising their individual characters and priorities. It is crucial that you recognize your codependent behaviours and replace them with healthier practices.
Why Interdependence Is Healthy for a Relationship?
Interdependence is the healthiest way to be in a serious relationship because both partners are self-aware of one another’s personal space, identity, and growth.
How can you move from codependency to interdependency?
Analyze your codependent behaviours. Build your self-esteem and identity by focusing on your hobbies and confidence.
Can you make any relationship interdependent?
Yes, you can! Make sure to not compromise with your dreams, identity, and hobbies. Establish clear boundaries and communicate them with your partner.