What is interdependence and How to Build a Relationship Based on Interdependence?

by neerajk

We all crave connection with others, especially in our romantic relationships. In fact, we are wired for it and it allows us to create bonds and intimacy with our partner. The success of long-term relationships often depends on the quality of our emotional connection with each other. However, we must not allow this connection to come at the expense of our independence and sense of self – that is the aim of an interdependent relationship.

However, achieving a solid relationship while remaining yourself may be difficult. You run the danger of becoming co-dependent if you rely on your partner too much. You could come across as distant and withdrawn if you place too much importance on your independence.

The hallmark of a healthy partnership is dependency between partners. Certainly, this is a relationship dynamic to strive for. But what exactly is interdependence? What distinguishes it from other relationships? And, most significantly, how can you develop it in your connection? Let’s have a look at some of these questions.

What Is Interdependence Relationship?

Most of us think that the ideal relationship is based on complete independence. We want to be able to do whatever we want, whenever we want. And while this setup may work for some people, it’s not the healthiest way to go about things – especially if you’re looking for a long-term partner.

Interdependence is when two people rely on each other equally. Both partners are supportive and understanding of each other’s needs. They share the same goals and work together to achieve them. In short, they rely on each other without losing sight of their own identity.

This type of relationship is special because it allows both partners to be themselves while also being in a committed, supportive relationship.

Interdependence Relationship is different from Codependence

Codependence is when one person relies on another person for their sense of self-esteem and wellbeing. That person can’t tell where they end and the other person begins. There’s also an enmeshed sense of responsibility to meet the other person’s needs.

A codependent relationship is characterized by the following traits:

– One person relies on the other for their sense of self-esteem and wellbeing

– There’s an enmeshed sense of responsibility to meet the other person’s needs

– There’s a lack of boundaries between the two people

– One person often feels used by the other

On the other hand Interdependence Relationship is built on the following traits:

– Both partners rely on each other equally

– Both partners are supportive and understanding of each other’s needs

– They share the same goals and work together to achieve them

– They rely on each other without losing sight of their own identity.

Characteristics of Interdependent Relationships

It’s easy to confuse interdependence and codependency. The two, on the other hand, are far from synonymous. A codependent connection is characterized by a complete lack of limits, blame-shifting, ineffective talking, manipulation, controlling behavior, and emotional intimacy difficulties.

The characteristics of interdependent relationships, on the other hand, include:

Communication that is robust:

The key to successful relationships is effective communication. Both partners can use communication to strengthen their relationship if it is interdependent. They are clear and honest in their communication, listen attentively to others’ viewpoints, and avoid criticizing. They can keep up with each other’s expectations and needs as a result of this open and straightforward interaction. There is no chance for misunderstandings because of this.

A sense of equality:

In an interdependent relationship, both partners feel like they are on the same level. They share similar responsibilities and make decisions together. This creates a sense of equality and mutual respect between them.

Both partners feel valued, appreciated, and needed in the relationship. Their individual opinions matter to each other and they are always willing to compromise to make the relationship work.

A focus on growth:

Both partners in an interdependent relationship are always looking for ways to grow and improve as individuals and as a couple. They believe that change is necessary for the relationship to thrive.

They are open to new experiences and willing to experiment with different things. This willingness to grow and evolve keeps the relationship fresh and exciting.

A commitment to the relationship:

Both partners in an interdependent relationship are committed to making things work. They are willing to put in the time and effort required to build a strong and lasting bond.

They know that relationships take work and they are not afraid of doing what it takes to keep the flame alive. They are patient, understanding, and forgiving with each other.

Personal space: 

Everyone has their own interests, passions, hobbies, and goals. Personal space is allowed for individuals to indulge in these pursuits. Neither partner expects the other to be at their side all of the time.

They may be at peace spending time apart without feeling guilty. This allows them to anticipate seeing each other again. Understanding that someone else can’t provide your joy is the first step in preventing yourself from being a source of sadness for another person.

How to Build an Interdependent Relationship

It isn’t as simple as receiving a flawless relationship on a silver platter, and no matter how dependent you think your partner is, it’s not good enough. No relationship is interdependent or codependent from the start; it’s how you build and nurture your connection with your partner that determines your relationship dynamics.

Of course, both partners must work at establishing an interdependent connection. Once you’ve done it, it may be the most satisfying relationship you’ll ever have. Here are some surefire ways to develop healthy mutual dependency in your partnership:

Know yourself well:

The first step is to know yourself well. What are your wants? What are your needs? What makes you happy? Once you have a clear understanding of your self, it will be easier for you to communicate your needs and wants to your partner.

Our style of living, for example, might become confused and adversarial when we are unsure about who we are and what we want from life. So take some time to discover yourself fully and figure out what you’re looking for in terms of work, religion, entertainment, and socializing.

You should also work on having a well-rounded life. This means that you should have things in your life that are important to you outside of your relationship. This makes your relationship stronger because it is based on more than just the two of you. You will be able to rely on each other more and have a deeper connection.

Some examples of things that you should have in your life outside of your relationship are friends, family, hobbies, work, and goals.

Be honest with each other:

Interdependence requires honesty from both partners. You should feel comfortable communicating with each other about everything in your life, both the good and the bad. This way, you can rely on each other for support and understanding.

Furthermore, being honest with each other creates a deeper level of trust.

Support each other’s dreams and goals:

In an interdependent relationship, both partners should support each other’s dreams and goals. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything your partner wants to do, but it does mean that you should be supportive of their dreams and goals.

For example, if your partner wants to quit their job and start their own business, you should support their decision even if you don’t agree with it. This way, they will know that they can rely on you for support.

Be in sync with one another’s requirements

One of the most important aspects of an interdependent relationship is being there for each other. This means being there for your partner emotionally and physically.

For example, if your partner is going through a tough time, you should be there for them emotionally. You can do this by listening to them, offering advice, and being a shoulder to cry on. If your partner is going through a tough time physically, you should be there for them. This could mean taking care of them if they are sick or helping them with their physical needs.

Cultivate other relationships

Being in a relationship might put you under excessive stress, and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to have a core group of people you can trust for emotional support and counsel.

To create an interdependent relationship, you must interact with friends, family, and coworkers. This will assist you in accepting that your romantic relationships don’t have to do everything together or be involved in every aspect of each other’s life. These brief times apart recharge and revitalize you, allowing you to return to your SO rejuvenated.

Expose your biggest worries and vulnerabilities:

To achieve a level of closeness that feels safe, it is essential to be vulnerable with each other. This means sharing your deepest worries and fears with your partner. By doing this, you are showing them that you trust them enough to handle your vulnerabilities.

They will be more likely to trust you with their own vulnerabilities. This creates a deeper level of intimacy and understanding between you.

Work on your relationship:

Just like anything else in life, relationships take work. You should never stop working on your relationship if you want it to last. There are many ways to work on your relationship, such as going to therapy, attending couple’s retreats, or reading books about relationships.

By working on your relationship, you show your partner that you are committed to them and the relationship. This will make them more likely to work on the relationship as well.

Say ‘no’ without fear or inhibition

In an interdependent relationship, it is important to be able to say ‘no’ without fear or inhibition. This means that you should feel comfortable communicating your needs and wants to your partner.

For example, if you don’t want to go out with your partner’s friends, you should be able to say so without feeling guilty. This way, you can avoid situations that make you uncomfortable and maintain healthy boundaries.

Ending Note

Building a relationship based on interdependence takes time, effort, and patience. But the rewards are worth it. An interdependent relationship is built on trust, respect, and support. This type of relationship can provide you with the closeness and intimacy that you desire. So if you’re looking for a lasting, fulfilling relationship, start working on building an interdependent one today.

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