My client, whose ex-girlfriend broke up with him recently, asked me this question:
“I believe I still love her. But is this love or emotional dependence? Sometimes I wonder if falling in Love is from my wounded Self. It feels like I can’t live with anyone else. If I love someone from the heart, I don’t expect any return. But if I fall in love, I feel a different energy.
Two inner states can lead to love. You fall in love with the person you love most from your wounded self, the ego self. If the other person does a good job at attending to your needs, you can say that you are “in love.” It is not about the person you love but how they treat you. Emotional dependency is when you feel like you cannot live without another person. You aren’t giving love to yourself and others to the part of you that is “in-love”. You are expecting someone else to fill your emptiness because you don’t take responsibility for your self-worth. This is why you cannot live without the person you love.
Your need for the relationship will be completely different if you are a loving adult and not a child or adolescent who is hurting, dependent, or needy. You have learned to love yourself and determine your worth as a loving adult. You no longer need someone to fill you up and make you feel loved and worthy. This inner fullness is possible because you are able to fully take responsibility for your feelings and needs and have learned to receive love from the Divine Source. You feel a sense of fullness and want to share it with another person, another loving adult who feels the same. You want to share love, not get it.
Your choice of who you choose to be a friend or family member will have a huge impact on your decision. People we choose have the same level of wounding and emotional health. The more you do inner work to connect to Divine Love and take care of yourself, you are more likely to be attracted to people who do this.
You will find someone who you can trust to fill you up if you take the time to look at your wounded self. Problem is, the other person might be trying to fill you up in hopes that you will fill them up. Both people will be disappointed if they are trying to find love and not share it. Each person will blame the other for failing to love them the way they desire. It is common for a relationship to end because one or both of the partners don’t take responsibility for their feelings and self-worth, and they blame each other for their unhappiness.
You don’t have to be attached to someone to feel fulfilled. Learn to let go of your attachments and give yourself what you desire from them. It is your job to make the other person the person you desire to be. You will then be able “in love” and not “in need.” It will be easier to love someone for who they are than what they can do for you. You don’t have to be in love with someone else. Instead, give your love freely and feel fulfilled.