How can I be less dependent on my boyfriend?

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 2 years. I've been really sad lately and for the past few months I've realized I'm just way too dependent on him. It makes me really upset to be so dependent on someone else, but I can't help it. I don't even know who I am without him.

How can I be less dependent on my him?

Olivia Farr, MS, LAC, NCC
Olivia Farr, MS, LAC, NCC
No judgment, just a safe space.

Dependency doesn't necessarily need to be a negative, as there is a moderate amount that comes with a healthy relationship. I.E., depending on your boyfriend to be emotionally there for you when you have a bad day is a sign of healthy relationship between you. 

It sounds like your dependency on your boyfriend has gotten to a place that is causing you discomfort and distress. It seems like doing some introspection, reflection, and work on yourself will help you individuate your identity and find yourself as an entity separate from your relationship. This takes effort! We have to spend literal time with ourselves in order to create space for our own identity. 

Start with a simple exercise like compiling a list of values or core beliefs that you hold and that are important to you, and try to uncover the things that remain both inside and outside your current relationship; the things that you know would exist for you no matter who you're sharing your life with. Follow this by evaluating how much of those values are supported in your life, and how you could align your life more with them and give your energy to the things that are important to your identity. It's okay if they're also important to your relationship, that's how humans work! 

Doing this work can help you get back in touch with who you authentically are, and allows you to build insight around your needs and boundaries. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

From what you write you've got good motivation to change and awareness as to what you'd like to change. 

These are very good predictors that you'll be successful in what you'd like to change.

Try, the next time you realize you're depending on your bf instead of friends, yourself, to interrupt whatever typical action you'd take.

Do something different instead!

If when you'd like advice and usually ask your bf, ask a different trusted someone.

Or, when you feel lonely, contact a friend or introspect on your own if usually you'd contact your bf.

Also, being dependent on a bf is part of a trusting intimate relationship.   Dependency in the sense that you each are reliably available to each other, is a good quality.

Only if it seems excessive, such as you're isolating yourself from other close friendships, is dependency on a partner, a problem.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Goldstein
Lauren Goldstein
GLBTQ Affirmative Relationship Therapist for individuals and couples

Recognizing that you're too dependent on your boyfriend can be a wakeup call and an excellent opportunity to work on your own personal growth and independence.  It sounds like it's time to explore and develop your own interests and engage in some activities that excite and challenge you.  If you have time, it could be useful to begin a new activity or class, cultivate friendships outside of your relationship with your boyfriend, and begin to reflect and meditate on ways to enhance your own personal fulfillment.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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