The danger in saying ‘I can’t live without you’

A young man feeling sorry for offending his girlfriend.

Photo credit: Fotosearch

What you need to know:

  • It may sound romantic when people say how alike you are, but actually it’s your contrasts that make you a strong couple.
  • And if your relationship can’t survive that level of honesty, then it’s time to get out before you get completely swamped.

Remember that wonderful song: “I can’t live, if living is without you!” It sounds like such a lovely thing to say, but have you ever actually said something like that to someone? And meant it? In real life that isn’t love, it’s desperation.

The first time your partner heard it, it would certainly have sounded romantic. But sooner or later that level of intensity in a relationship becomes unbearable. Especially as it implies that you’re behaving more like a child than an independent adult.

As a child, you definitely did need someone to take care of you. But if you need that level of attention as an adult, then something’s wrong, and you’ll have real difficulties in forming stable and lasting relationships.

So if that’s you, work on becoming more self-reliant, and on being responsible for your own happiness. You’ll enjoy life far more, and your relationships will become a lot more successful.

“My love will never change!” That’s simply not possible either, because everyone changes and develops. And if your love doesn’t mature as well, then it won’t last. Inevitably you’ll both get older, gain weight, lose weight, fall sick occasionally, change your career, have children, discover new interests and drop old ones.

So your love for each other must be flexible to survive. Sometimes your love will be full of passion. Other times closer to calm companionship. In times of trouble, commitment may need to be stronger than attraction. But then you discover that hanging in there has bonded you together more deeply than before.

Warning sign

“You’re all I need!” is another warning sign. Humans are social beings, and need to have fun with other people, explore ideas, and learn new skills. So trying to get all that from just one person is asking too much. And so exhausting for both of you, that neither of you can develop yourselves fully.

So don’t feel threatened if your partner develops new interests or friends. Do the same! Because as you grow as individuals, you will also be strengthening your relationship.

There’s also a thin line between being loving, rather than possessive or controlling. True love’s letting your partner make their own choices.

Or if it’s you who’s feeling controlled, you need to start deciding things for yourself. Tell your partner about your real feelings and needs.

Completely swamped

And if your relationship can’t survive that level of honesty, then it’s time to get out before you get completely swamped.

Do you tend to choose partners who’re just like you? Or to change yourself to be exactly like them? Neither lead to healthy relationships. It may sound romantic when people say how alike you are, but actually it’s your contrasts that make you a strong couple. So explore and enjoy them. Dare to be loved for who you really are.

Because the best relationships are always formed between adults who are both independent and flexible. And who enjoy their differences as much as their similarities.

nyumbayangu@me.com