Humans need other humans. We are a social species who
require contact with other people. Some people want to socialise constantly,
others are content to spend time alone. But we all need other people to some
degree. To talk to, to help us, to care for, to remind us we are not alone.
But what happens when this need becomes too strong? What
happens when one person becomes almost entirely dependent on another? At what
point does a relationship become unhealthy?
This isn’t something I’ve experienced first-hand, but I’m
well aware that it happens, most commonly in romantic relationships, although
not solely in them. This can even extend into the realm of fanaticism for
celebrities. One person can become so utterly infatuated with another, that
they are willing to do anything they want. Compromise and doing things for the
other person are vital to any form of relationship, but there has to be
boundaries. Each person must still remain an independent individual, capable of
surviving on their own. It’s dangerous to become dependent on someone else,
when there is no guarantee that that person will always be around.
I’m no psychology expert, but I’d assume that potential
reasons for this dependency could include insecurity and fear of abandonment.
People who are not comfortable with themselves, with spending time alone with themselves, seem more likely to become reliant on others, I would assume. And if someone has
been abandoned in the past, they may want to cling on to what relationships
they do have. It’s ok to need other people sometimes, and it’s understandable why
some people need them more than others, as long as this does not become an unhealthy
Being so entirely reliant on someone else stops you from
being yourself. If you are willing to change and do anything for that person,
then you lose sight of who you really are. You may start to sacrifice other
elements of your life, be it work, family or interests, and while it may seem
worthwhile at the time, in the long run it will cause problems and likely make
you unhappy. Especially if you lose the person you are dependent on, and then
realise you have nothing left once they’re gone.
The role of the other person is worth considering too. Are
they aware of the depth of the dependency? Do they reciprocate it, making it co-dependency? Do they
manipulate and take advantage of it? Do they enjoy it or does it interfere with
their life? Relationship dynamics are complicated, and unique to every pairing
and situation. It can also be extremely difficult to know what to about someone
who is overly reliant on someone else, to the point where the relationship has
So yes, humans need other humans. We need relationships, social
interaction, people who care about us and who we can care for. But we also need
to know how to be comfortable in our own skin, how to be independent and
individual, and not conform to what others want us to be. We have to lead our
lives and make our decisions as we ourselves see fit. We can ask for advice,
yes – but shouldn’t accept it blindly. People and relationships don’t last
forever, and we need to be able to carry on when they end.