If you feel the need to stay in a bad relationship, as if you can’t live without the other person, that feeling is emotional dependency.
The part of you that is “in love” is really needy child seeking love. That part of you is selfish and is not giving love to yourself or to others. You feel an emptiness inside of you, an emptiness that you expect someone else to fill. You feel this way because you are not taking responsibility for your own feelings of self-worth. Instead, you attach your worth to another’s love. This is why ultimately, you can’t live without that person.
When you fall in love as a loving adult your needs for a relationship are totally different. This is because you have learned how to fill yourself with love and define your own self worth. You don’t need someone to fill you and make you feel lovable and worthy because you already feel worthy and full of love. You feel this way because you have learned how to take full responsibility for your own feelings and needs, and have learned to fill yourself with love. You want to share this love with another person because you feel filled with abundance. It’s the difference between sharing love rather than receiving love.
The kind of person you pick as a needy child is totally different than as a loving adult. When the wounded self is doing the choosing, we tend to pick a similar level of woundedness and a similar level of emotional health. The more work you have done to connect with your inner self , the more you will be attracted to someone who finds love from within and takes loving care of themselves.
When you pick from your wounded self, you are emotionally dependent. You will pick someone whom you believe wants the job of filling you up. The problem is that the other person is expecting you to do the same for them. Relationships cannot work when both people are trying to get love rather than share love. They will eventually find themselves very disappointed with each other. They will blame the other for not loving them in the way they want to be loved. When relationships end, it is often because one or both partners are not taking responsibility for their own feelings and self-worth. They blame the other for their resulting unhappiness.
If you are so attached to someone that you feel you can’t live without that person, then you should try to give to yourself and others what you expect to receive from this person. You should become the person to yourself that you want the other person to be for you. Then you will be able to be “in love” rather than “in need.” You will be able to love another person for who he is rather than for what this person can do for you. Instead of needing to get love, you can give love from the heart for the joy of it and feel fulfillment just for giving it.