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It is the fairy tale romance – Your partner blew into your life, whisking you off your feet in a whirlwind romance. In the moment, it felt true, genuine and amazing, as if you finally discovered your Happily Ever After.

However, as time passes you begin to realize that your partner isn’t everything you originally thought they were. As the original feelings subside, and your eyes are opened to the relationship before you, you are forced to see that you had put your partner on a pedestal, viewing them as a perfect lover, in that moment, however you had been living in your self-created fantasy world. Blinded by your desire, you were unable to see the truth right in front of you.

There is the chance that this fairy tale romance wasn’t created out of love for the partner you chose, but instead out of an emptiness that you are feeling within. Many people go through life defining themselves, and their self-worth, by the partners in their lives rather than viewing themselves as whole in and of themselves. This creates an emotional dependency, a NEED for the experience of being ‘in love’ regardless of who it may be.

Watch for these 21 signs that you may be emotionally dependent and not actually in love:


  1. You have specific expectations for your partner within your relationship. Anytime that you feel they fall short or don’t meet these needs you find yourself feeling unloved or unsafe in the relationship.


  1. You require constant validation within your relationship, and without it, you feel as though your partner no longer cares for you, or has moved on.


  1. In your efforts to always be ‘on the same page’ about every topic, while still maintaining some control you will pressure your partner to agree with you, or to say/do things that they are not comfortable with in that moment.


  1. You become overly protective and possessive of your partner, afraid that anyone that your partner may talk to or lack at could sweep in and steal them away from you.


  1. You will go out of your way to please your partner, at times regardless of the cost. A little pressure from your partner is all it will take for you to discard your own thoughts and beliefs, instead of saying/doing things that you are not comfortable with to fit their views.


  1. You regularly cancel plans for other important people in your life, such as family and friends, to dedicate all of your time to your partner.


  1. You require constant and regular contact. Anytime that your partner doesn’t call, text or message you, when you expect them to, you find that you are overcome with a feeling of high anxiety, worried that they no longer care for you.


  1. You find yourself feeling incredibly jealous anytime your partner is spending time with other people, including the friends that they had in their life prior to meeting you.


  1. Your feelings of self-worth and value are highly depending on the amount of affection you are receiving from your partner at any moment, and their approval of you at any given time.


  1. You find yourself regularly fishing for compliments.


  1. You give in to major life decisions that you would have otherwise been opposed to just to keep your partner happy, such as moving to another state.


  1. Your focus in your relationship is on your partner’s feelings for you instead of on the actual person you are in a relationship with. You miss the more important aspects, such as getting to know their individual identity and personality.


  1. You begin to change who you are to match the likes and desires of your partner, including your favorite sports team, favorite foods, religious beliefs and political views.


  1. You genuinely believe that with the right time and effort you can change your partner into whatever you need them to be.


  1. You feel as though you must always maintain some level of control of your relationship and your partner. If they push back against this control, you take it personally and are left feeling unloved and unwanted.


  1. You are less concerned with who your partner genuinely is on the inside, and more concerned with the image that they portray to everyone else in your lives.


  1. You and/or your partner become so wrapped up in the relationship that you find you are pulling away from other aspects of your life that you once believed were important, such as friendships and hobbies that you were once passionate about.


  1. Placing your partner on a pedestal, you idealize them to such a degree that your whole world will fall apart when they don’t live up to this image.


  1. You believe that your partner’s opinions and validation are more valuable than your own, regardless of what it is in relation to.


  1. Any time that you spend without your partner by your side leaves you feeling empty and alone as if you are unable to be ‘whole’ when you aren’t in their presence.


  1. The idea of losing your partner is the most frightening concept you could be presented with, as even the thought creates panic as you realize that you don’t believe you would be able to move on with your life alone.