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Interdependent Relationships: How To Build Them From Scratch

Interdependent Relationships: How To Build Them From Scratch

You are probably familiar with the term codependency but do you know what interdependent relationships are? Before you rush to the conclusion, no, it’s not the same thing.

An interdependent relationship is having an emotional bond with your partner and having him as your biggest emotional support. But it is also about having boundaries and about maintaining a sense of self in the relationship dynamics.

So this type of relationship is much different from a codependent one. It nurtures your self-esteem and self-confidence and it does so by not having you rely on your partner for it.

In a codependent relationship, you feel like you can’t live without a person. You’re happy if your partner is happy and you truly feel like he’s an extension of you.

This may sound romantic but it doesn’t necessarily have to mean it’s true. To be honest, this kind of relationship is unhealthy and leads to people-pleasing and ignoring your own needs.

In an interdependent relationship, you value your partner for what he is and you want to be with him because of it. Your happiness comes from within as you know that the two of you are individuals with their own lives and goals to fulfill.

The difference is obvious and I know for sure which type of relationship I would rather be in. So, let’s learn more about what makes an interdependent relationship so desirable.

5 characteristics of an interdependent relationship

Interdependent Relationships How To Build Them From Scratch

Interdependency is different than codependency because your self-worth and well-being depend on you, not on your partner. It is the perfect middle between codependency and extreme independence.

What does that look like, you may ask? Well, here are some things that you will find in every interdependent relationship.

1. Healthy boundaries

Most of us associate boundaries with something negative. In reality, having boundaries and expecting people not to cross them is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It shows that you value your own needs and beliefs and that you won’t allow anyone to go against them.

So, there’s nothing bad in maintaining healthy boundaries in your relationship.

Your partner should respect you enough not to go against your wishes. And if he can’t do that, I’m sorry to break it to you, but he doesn’t love you.

Couples in interdependent relationships don’t ignore each other’s boundaries. They know that they’re crucial in each healthy relationship.

2. Active listening

An interdependent relationship is all about effective communication and active listening to what your partner has to say. You don’t just wait for your turn to talk but you actually try to understand their point.

This is highly important as you can’t have a healthy relationship without good communication. The quality of your conversations will increase the quality of your relationship.

3. Time for personal interests

Interdependent Relationships How To Build Them From Scratch 2

Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t have time for your hobbies, friends, and family. Your personal interests still remain a part of you and couples in interdependent relationships know that. So, they don’t expect their partners to stop doing something simply because they’re no longer single.

You should still feel free to go hiking with your friends if that’s something you loved doing before you met your partner. You can still have nights out with your favorite cousins and enjoy your art classes every Saturday.

Your life doesn’t stop the moment you start a relationship with someone and your partner knows that. So, he encourages you to keep your hobbies and stay in touch with your friends. And of course, you do the same for him.

4. Taking responsibility

Each person should be responsible for their actions. As a part of an interdependent relationship, you and your partner know this and you always make sure to take responsibility for whatever you say or do.

There’s no blame-shifting or pretending to be a victim. Instead, you stand firm behind your deeds and you look for a resolution together.

A relationship is a place where both partners should feel free to speak their minds and let the other person know when something’s bothering them. And the best thing about it is that they know their partner won’t get upset with them.

5. Feeling safe enough to be vulnerable

We all pretend to be brave but what we don’t understand is that it takes real courage to be vulnerable with someone. That’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever allow yourself to do but it’s also something that will deepen your relationship and strengthen the bond between the two of you.

All interdependent relationships nurture the feeling of being safe in your relationship and expressing your deepest desires, dreams, and fears. If you can do that with your partner then you know that you’ve found the one you’re supposed to grow old with.

How to build an interdependent relationship?

Interdependent Relationships How To Build Them From Scratch

Now that you know what makes an interdependent relationship so special, you may consider taking the right steps and working on your relationship with your partner. You want to achieve this high level of emotional intimacy and strengthen the bond you share with your partner.

But where do you start? What’s the first thing you can do if you want to make your relationship more interdependent?

1. Work on becoming more aware of yourself

Before you start working on your relationship, you first need to work on yourself. So, step number one is to evaluate your own needs and desires.

What’s something that makes you happy? What’s something you’re afraid of? What are the most important things in your life?

You first need to know yourself better if you want your partner to understand you. You need to be happy with the choices you’ve made, and most importantly, you need to be sure that your satisfaction doesn’t depend on others.

Once you start having these regular sessions where you get to know yourself better, you’ll start to realize if there’s something you want to change to become happier. You’ll also start to appreciate yourself more which automatically means that you’ll expect others to treat you the same way.

You’ll grow as a person, and as a result, your relationship will also keep on growing.

2. Support your partner

Interdependent Relationships How To Build Them From Scratch 4

Once you learn more about yourself, you’ll realize that your partner also has certain needs, desires, and plans in his life that he wishes to fulfill. And the one person who should support him in doing that is you.

In the same way you expect your significant other to be your biggest cheerleader, you also need to give him the same treatment. You need to be his support, a person who’s going to push him to achieve his inner happiness on his own.

Yes, you will make each other happy to a certain extent but in the end, both of you should know that you shouldn’t rely on others as your true satisfaction comes from within.

The moment your partner realizes how supportive you are, he’ll give you the same in return. And just like that, you’ll become each other’s biggest fans but at the same time, you’ll know that the happiness you feel is a product of your own dedication and hard work.

3. Don’t be afraid to say “no”

If you don’t feel like going out with your partner, simply say “no”. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, speak up for yourself. You have a voice and you’re allowed to use it to protect yourself.

Saying “no” in a relationship isn’t a bad thing. It simply means that you have some boundaries that you’re not letting anyone cross.

Your partner shouldn’t get upset because of that since he has the right to do the same. Whenever he doesn’t feel like doing something or going someplace, he has the full right to say it.

Interdependent relationships are all about being aware of your needs and desires and protecting your own boundaries. Just because you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that you should accept everything your partner suggests.

The two of you are different people with different mindsets and desires. So, you have every right to do whatever’s necessary to retain your inner happiness.

4. Work on your communication skills

Interdependent Relationships How To Build Them From Scratch

Communication is the key to every relationship and even when you feel like you and your partner are good at communicating, there’s always room for progress.

Whenever you feel uncomfortable with something or you’re unsure why your significant other did or said something, feel free to ask him about it. Communicate your feelings and make sure you solve all of the disagreements with a conversation.

The two of you should talk your way out of an argument and you shouldn’t feel afraid of asking questions and telling each other whatever’s bothering you. Just because you’re together, it doesn’t mean that you can read each other’s minds.

So, the best way to express your concerns is to say it out loud. That’s the only way you can work on your relationship and keep your spark alive.

Bottling your feelings and staying quiet when you want to scream is going to push you away from each other. And I’m sure that’s not something you want.

Feel free to communicate openly with one another and you’ll see a massive difference in your relationship.

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