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Dear Molly, Is it Wrong to be Co-Dependent?

22 January 2020

Hey. I know you talk about independence and being confident and it’s something that I’ve been struggling with lately. I feel like everyone is talking about how they don’t need a man in their life, but what if I want one? Is it so wrong to want to be in a relationship? I think I’m just naturally a co-dependant person, what’s so wrong about that?

 

This community has become one I am radically proud of. You each seem to consistently strive for your independent strength, stretch your legs, remain confident, and keep your head up no matter the challenges that come your way. One of the things I hope doesn’t happen is that you forget that there is not an inherent weakness in partnership or craving partnership.

I posted a few months ago on Instagram with the caption “a note to my v independent ladies: it’s okay to let someone take care of you once in a while” and was very surprised at the messages I received saying that you “Needed to hear this” or “Yes, we do! I always forget it’s okay to not be okay”. Being independent and confident doesn’t mean being impervious, faultless, or invulnerable. There’s so much beauty in your ability to be open to being cared for.

So to answer your question “what’s so wrong with that?” absolutely nothing.

Let’s get vulnerable and personal right now. Sometimes I think that I’m the neediest, independent person alive. I cherish my independence. I love my own space, my personal time, and looking out for “number one”. Yet in partnership, I am “needy” in the cleanest sense of the word. I like to be cared for, I like to feel special, reassured, and provided for. Actually, I don’t “like” it, I “need” it. It’s probably the most dichotomous aspect of my personality and one that’s been a curveball for every guy I’ve ever dated. They expect to date this hurricane that blazes ahead without a second thought and requires no support and instead, I can be fragile and find a lot of stability through relationships (romantic or otherwise). *shrug* People are complex. I’ve accepted the fact that if I was a plant I would not be a cactus happy to go months without support, I would proudly be a little orchid.

 

painfully applicable

 

At first, like you, I felt like this was a massive weakness. One that I thought I would have to work to remove to call myself an independent woman, but that’s not the case. Craving, enjoying, and benefiting from partnership is how we, as people, have always lived. At 26 I’m extremely proud of my tough exterior and soft, gentle inner emotions. This quality has forced me to be extremely careful about who I let into my inner circle and who I will genuinely open with. To be completely honest, there are less than five people in the world who truly know me. It’s how I protect and nurture the side of myself that craves partnership.

My final thought for you is this, love and nurture the side of you that craves partnership, but don’t rely solely on one person, romantic or otherwise, to give it to you. Even if you are single and wishing you were in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that you are any less capable of taking care of yourself and thriving. You don’t need someone else to be next to you to accomplish all you want in life.

 

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