A suicide threat is the ultimate way to control an empathetic, caring person.
If you’re in a relationship with someone that threatens to kill themselves if you leave, you need to follow very specific steps so that 1: You aren’t stuck in that relationship forever and 2: If they’re truly serious about taking their own life, you do your best to help them stay alive.
(The following podcast transcript has been modified for easier readability and to benefit the Deaf and hard of hearing)
Today, I want to talk about probably one of the most egregious and abusive behaviors that can stem from an emotionally abusive relationship, the threat of suicide:
“If you leave me, I’ll kill myself.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in this situation or have had any type of threat that was similar in nature, like, “If you leave me, I’ll do this.” Or “if you do that, well, I’m just going to call your job and tell them you’re an awful person.”… when there’s some sort of threat involved.
Today’s episode is going to focus mainly on the threat of suicide. You can use the suggestions I offer for other scenarios too, but I’m going to focus on when someone says, “You know what, if you leave me, I love you so much, I’m going to kill myself.”
This is just playing with your emotions, it’s abusing your compassion, abusing your empathy, and guilting you into staying in what I would call a very unhealthy situation, what anyone would probably call an unhealthy situation.
This is not love. This is fear. When somebody says that, they’re saying it out of fear. We’re going to talk about that in a moment.
I do want to say that with any episode of Love and Abuse, please remember that all of this information is meant for informational and educational purposes only. Always consult a professional before making any changes that could affect your health and well-being
I’m giving you one angle, one possible outlook, from my point of view, especially when someone threatens suicide, you want to make sure that you are getting all the professional help that you need, and hopefully the other person needs too. If they’re willing to go and get help with you.
That’s one of the suggestions, of course, is when someone says something like that, your response could be, “Hey, let’s go get some help. Let’s talk to a therapist, let’s go to counseling together. Let’s figure this out.” That could be one of the suggestions.
You’ll find a lot of suggestions to deal with something like this online. You’ll find advice on how to work with someone that says that. I haven’t found too many pieces of advice that seem like a good way out of this.
Personally, I’ve been thinking about it; I’ve been trying on scenarios in my mind; I’ve been reading articles to figure out the best way to handle something like this. I’ve had this happen with couples that I’ve worked with, not to this extent, but something like this in their past.
From what I’ve seen 99% of the time, it’s an empty threat. But somebody can pull it off and make it happen. Their goal is to make you feel guilty enough to stay in the relationship or keep doing what they want you to do because they’re afraid. They think if you leave, they’re nothing without you. They think that their happiness comes from you. They think that their worthiness comes from you. Their lovable-ness comes from you. They put all of their time, energy, and attention into you to get back what they don’t have inside themselves.
We do this in relationships. We want to get these things from our partner so that we can feel good, we can feel important, and we can feel loved. What happens is when someone goes into the relationship and longs and desires for what I would consider “gaps” in their life, or empty emotional holes that need filling that they didn’t get growing up during their childhood – when they don’t have the right type of healthy love and time and attention from their parents or their caretakers, they can have these empty spaces inside. They need to fill those empty spaces with someone else’s love, time, attention, and support because they probably didn’t get it from their parents.
This is one angle of course. As I said, you’ll definitely want to talk to a professional when it comes to something this serious, but this is how I view it. When we enter into a relationship, we might be missing components of ourselves, missing the love that we want to feel, or the compassion that we want to feel, or anything that makes us feel important, validated, and worthy. If we don’t have that in our life before we enter a relationship, we might expect the other person to fulfill that for us. What that does is create a high dependency on the other person.
So, the relationship starts off great, you’re getting all this time and attention and love and care, and then one day, the relationship might not be working anymore, and you want to get out of it. Now the other person feels like they are going to be incomplete and they are also going to be very lonely and scared, and especially not happy and feeling like they are worthless and unlovable. When you are the source of all that for them, they become dependent and you become drained.
When you’re in this type of relationship, when someone drains you like that, you want to distance yourself from them. You want to get away from that type of person. They are very needy, they want to be around you a lot, and they’re very clingy.
I’m not putting anyone down that’s needy or clingy. I was there for many years. I was that needy, clingy person. I felt like without that other person in my life, I would never be happy again. I would never be loved again. That one person fulfilled everything I was missing.
This is why I don’t really like the comment or the phrase, “You complete me.” What it’s saying is that “I’m not complete without you. Therefore, you have to stick around in order for me to be fulfilled, happy and feel worthy and loved. Without you, I am incomplete. Therefore, I will always be unhappy, so I’m going to make you feel guilty if you leave.”
If you’re compassionate, loving, and empathetic, you probably will stick around even if you’re not in love anymore. This is what can happen. You can fall out of love because that person feels so draining.
When you decide that you don’t want to be in the relationship anymore and feel like leaving, you know doing so will hurt that person so much that you choose to stay against your own better judgment, against your own personal desires or wishes, or your own personal wants or needs.
You end up staying for them, but not for you.
This is like saying, “I give up, and I’m not here to honor me anymore. I’m just going to be unhappy while that person is happy because I’m so afraid of hurting that person.”
Believe me, that person is going to take advantage of that. Once you allow the behavior of someone making you feel bad, making you their only source of happiness, their only source of feeling loved and validated, once you get into that dangerous emotional cocktail, it’s very difficult to get out.
Typically, people who get into that kind of relationship are empathetic, compassionate, supportive, generous and kind, and caring… all of the good stuff. But that good stuff gets used against you.
I’m laying out this foundation. If you’re in a type of relationship in which the other person feels dependent and clingy and needy, and they’re always wanting to be with you and they always want to know where you are, it goes on and on. You might have to report everywhere you go to them. You might have to report who you talk to. It can get quite deep and intrusive.
Not everyone’s like that, but a lot of relationships can turn into that when the other person has that deep need for you to supply them love and energy and all of the things that they may not have enough of in themselves.
What they need to do, because they don’t have enough in themselves, is practice self-love, self-compassion, increasing their self-worth, validating themselves and working on themselves all the time.
It’s Personal Improvement 101: Work on yourself, fulfill yourself, so that you can bring the best version of you into your relationship.
If you’re not the best version of you, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a relationship. Even when you’re in the relationship, and you’re not the best version of yourself, however you define that, you can still work on yourself. You still know that they aren’t causing the problems inside of you.
You might have problems, you might have challenges, you might have emotional triggers, and you have to work on those things. And when you work on those things and improve those things in yourself, you stop relying so much on the other person trying to make that up for you.
That’s the dangerous part. When you haven’t had enough love from your mom or your dad growing up, maybe there was some neglect. Even if it was unintentional, maybe you just didn’t have an emotional connection with one or both of them. Maybe one of them wasn’t there, maybe both weren’t there or maybe you were raised by foster parents.
There are all kinds of reasons that we didn’t get enough of what we needed as a kid, but when you didn’t get a lot of this stuff (or some of this stuff), if you don’t work on filling that in yourself, by loving yourself, by treating yourself as your best friend, treating yourself as you would want your mom or dad to treat you – and that might mean, for example, pretending to be your own mom or dad and say, “Hey, you know what? I just want to let you know that I am so proud of you.”
When you can say that to yourself from yourself, you start to fill those gaps and fill what’s missing or lacking in you. When you fill the gaps, you start becoming happier internally, instead of relying on external factors.
I’m not saying this is the solution, but I am saying when you give yourself loving, give yourself compassion, and show yourself that you are worthy and important, filling in those gaps, then you’re not so much pining and longing for someone else to do it for you.
As soon as you rely on someone else to do it for you, that means they have to be there all the time, every time you need it. That means they might have to be around 24/7 just to make sure that you’re happy, you’re fulfilled, and all your wants and needs are met. When you’re in that scenario, that’s when the dependency or co-dependency forms.
If you are both dependent on each other and one of you decides to go on vacation for a week, leaving the other person behind, that might be a week of torture for one or both of you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t miss someone. When you’re in a healthy relationship, missing someone is usually a sign that you care about each other and you want to be with each other.
This is like looking at your partner and asking, “What dysfunctions am I complementing in you?”, or “What dysfunctions do you have?”, or “What gaps are in you that I am fulfilling in a dysfunctional way?”
You can do it in a healthy functional way. An example might be, “Hey, I’m so glad we’re together. But if we were apart, I’d be okay.” I see that as healthy and functional. But I would rather be with you, again, healthy and functional. But without you I am nothing and I am miserable. You can go through that period of time. If you broke up, you might have to mourn the loss of the relationship, but afterward, you bounce back, because you have a solid foundation, a solid emotional structure that you built for yourself in the sense of self-love, self-compassion, and self-care.
When you do all of that for yourself when you’re always working on improving yourself and fulfilling yourself, then relying on someone else to do it isn’t so great. It can still be there; I’m not trying to take that away from you. I’m just saying be aware of what is lacking inside of you so that you’re not so dependent on someone else to fill what’s lacking. This doesn’t mean you can’t have relationships where you can fulfill each other’s needs; it just means you have to be aware that if that person wasn’t in your life, what would you have that’s left over that might need some nurturing?
Again, all of this is the foundation of what I’m talking about today, which is when someone emotionally abuses you by using a threat to guilt you into control. The biggest guilt into control is a threat of suicide: “If you leave me, I’ll kill myself.”
I call that the ultimate abuse of your empathy and compassion because they know you’re empathetic. They know you’re compassionate, they know you care. And you do, you do care about the other person. You probably don’t want them to kill themselves. That’s why they’re saying it. Typically, they know you don’t want them to kill themselves, so they use that as a way to control you and as a way to guilt you into staying, or doing what they want.
How do you handle it? What do you do when that happens? Again, it’s hard to find really good information on this subject, so I took some time and just compiled a few suggestions that might help you out of the situation. Again, this is my opinion and every scenario is going to be different. If someone is really serious about killing themselves, you just have to be aware that it’s going to take some extra special skills on your part.
If you’re in that moment, if you’re in that situation to deal with, you’re going to have to keep a level head. And that’s probably the most important suggestion: Just keep a level head. And know that they’re coming from a place of fear, a fear of losing everything they’ve used you for, to provide for them. I don’t necessarily mean they used you, but in a way they did.
They may have been loving you in a good healthy way, but they have also been using you for the gaps in their life, for the empty spaces in their soul. You not being in their life will reveal to them those empty spaces again, and they just don’t want to face it. They don’t want to face those empty spaces. It’s so scary to them.
Let me just give you some suggestions. If you’re dealing with this, if you’ve ever dealt with it, if you know someone that’s going through it, I think it’s important to talk about this, even though it’s probably one of the hardest topics to talk about. I think it’s one of the most difficult scenarios to unfold.
Imagine, if you’ve never gone through this, imagine you want to leave the person you’re with, and they say, “Well, if you leave, as soon as you’re out the door, I’m going to kill myself.” You don’t even know what to do with that. It’s so shocking. It’s appalling. How do you deal with that?
This is where you have to come back into yourself and realize, Okay, they’re afraid; they’re really afraid. How do I get through this moment?
Let me give you these suggestions.
1. Ask them the question:
“Are you serious or are you just saying that, so I’ll feel guilty and stay?”
That’s a good first question. If they say they’re serious, here’s where I go with this, and I don’t want you to make this step one, necessarily. This is one of a few steps that I’m going to share, and it can be in any order. It depends on the scenario and it depends on the context of what’s happening. And it could be this suggestion, or it could be another suggestion. Don’t necessarily take this in the order I give it, just kind of file it in your mind or write it down and go through this scenario in your mind and see what might work best for the person that you’re with.
Let’s just say that you ask them, “Are you serious? Or are you just saying that because you want to make me feel guilty?” You ask that question. If they say they’re serious, I treat it as if it was 100% truthful, then I call the police.
This may not work for you and this may be something that you have to do behind closed doors. I’m not necessarily saying that you must do this, but if this happened in my life, again, this is my personal opinion, if this happened to me in my life, I would take them 100% seriously if they said they were serious. I would call the police and say, for example, “My girlfriend just said that she was going to commit suicide, what do I do?” They’ll probably come over. Now this is a very, I think, controversial suggestion because what if calling the police pushes them over the edge? Here’s why I gave this as a possible suggestion – 99% of the time, they’re so afraid of you leaving, they don’t really want to kill themselves. They’re just trying to make you feel guilty.
What if they really were serious? Let’s just say that you knew for a fact that they were really going to kill themselves if you walked out the door. You knew for a fact. That means that they’re lingering on the ledge, ready to jump off. That’s how close they are to suicide. The only thing that keeps them up there is your presence, which means they’re mentally unstable. That’s not mentally well, so I treat it as a serious threat, and I call the police.
There might be professionals out there that disagree with me, and that’s okay. They may be right, depending on the scenario. I’m just giving you the first one, the most controversial one because if they really are serious, I want someone to intervene, someone that can handle the situation.
Also, it gives them something they didn’t expect. If they’re just using it as an empty threat, I want them accountable for that threat, because I never want them to use it again. If my girlfriend said, “I’m going to kill myself if you leave,” and I took it seriously, and the police came, she would probably think twice before telling me that again.
Here’s what happens. When there’s no accountability, they’ll use it over and over again. Like I said, this is a controversial suggestion. I’m not saying you should do it. I’m saying that if it were me, I would probably do that, because I don’t like to be threatened in that way. I don’t like to be abused in that way. I don’t like my compassion and my empathy used against me.
You probably won’t hear that first suggestion anywhere else. If you do, I’ll be surprised, but call the police. Tell them that the person you’re with just threatened to commit suicide and they said they were serious. This is pure accountability.
It might even behoove you to call one of their family members to come over and talk to them. Again, if they’re that close to the edge, maybe they need to talk to someone, a friend, a family member, that helps them get away from the edge or the ledge. You want to pull them back, and you can’t be the one to do that because you’re not their therapist, you’re not their coach.
If you are a therapist or coach, it’s not your job to do it with your partner, especially when it’s that close to something so serious. You need to find a way to have someone else intervene, someone who they trust, who they care about who will come and help them off the ledge. If it’s not the police, it’s someone they know and trust.
I got the controversial one out of the way, except I didn’t tell you what to say if they said, “Well, I just want you to feel guilty.” Let’s just say that you said, “Are you serious? Are you just saying that because you want me to feel guilty?” Let’s just say that the other person says, “I do want you to feel guilty, so you’ll stay.” Let’s just say they say something like that, or something else like, “I just love you so much. I know I won’t be able to live without you.”
This is where suggestion two comes in.
2. Tell them, “Well, that’s a really mean thing to tell someone you love. Instead of making me happy, you’d rather make me feel bad. Instead of wanting me to love you, because you’re trying hard to be a better person, you’re using my compassion against me. That’s not love, that’s control.”
This is when you find out that perhaps they’re not really serious. They just want to make you feel bad or guilty. You have to tell them, that’s not love, that’s control. I can’t love someone who threatens me like that. If you really want me to stay, you’ll get help. If they really love you, they will get help, because if they use a suicide threat to make you stay, they’re not concerned about your happiness. They’re concerned about their own fears.
Telling them, “That’s a mean thing to tell someone you love.” It makes them consider, well, if I really do love that person, I don’t want to say something mean to them. And you ask them, “Why would you want to make me feel bad? When you love someone, you want them to be happy. Why would you want to make me feel bad? If you really want to work on this, then tell me you’ll work on yourself, tell me you’ll get help. If you’re that close to suicide, you need help.”
Quite frankly, if they want to control you, they’ll likely take it a step further and make you feel even worse. They’ll say or do something that puts you in empathy and guilt. The bottom line is if they want to control you, they’ll likely take it as far as they can to make you feel as bad as you can. They’ll say or do something that puts you in a mixture of empathy and guilt.
If that’s the case, this is where suggestion number three comes in.
3. Tell them that you would like some time apart, but not to break up, just to get some space between you and to let go of the tension and work on the relationship without both of you being so close to the problems.
I got this idea from Frederick Neuman’s article on psychologytoday.com. Dr. Neuman says that by telling the person that you want to work things out, you take some time apart, that will ease their fear and it will make them feel a little more secure, that things aren’t just going to end. The threat of suicide can be real, and even though it wouldn’t be your fault, you probably still care enough about the welfare of the person that you don’t want to see them hurt themselves.
Offering the option of taking some time apart, not to break up, but to work on the relationship. “I work on me, you work on you, and then we’ll talk about what the relationship looks like after that. If we take some time apart, we can get through this.”
I don’t recommend you say that in the heat of the moment. If they just threatened to kill themselves, then that’s too soon and too sensitive and too much of a moment.
Dr. Neuman says in so many words, to stick around a little bit longer, and make them think that things are going to be okay. That sounds a little deceptive, I understand, but what it does is it eases them away from that ledge. It lets them know that they don’t have too much to fear because you care.
You can say you care,” I care about you so much.” If you love them, you can say, “I love you, and I want you to be healthy, and I want you to be well. So, let’s just take this day by day and see what we can do.”
When they’re off the ledge and they’re not in that space, that triggered space where they’re in that fear mode, then on another day, you can say, “Look, I’ve been really thinking about this, and I think we should just take some time apart. Now, this doesn’t mean I want to break up with you. It just means I think we need to work on ourselves, because clearly there are problems in the relationship. I want us to get through those problems.”
What you’re doing is that you’re presenting an option to them that gives you both space, especially you, to get away from each other, to be out of each other’s vicinity, to be out of each other’s sphere of influence, if you want to call it that, so that you’re not always in each other’s direct line of sight.
That might mean you stay in different places. I don’t recommend staying in the same place, like if you had different rooms in the house or something. I do recommend you get out of the house, get away from each other, if you don’t live apart already, just so that you have time to be in your own space in your own mind to be around people that support you, but to also remember to always convey that you’re doing this for “us”.
You’re doing this to “make our relationship what it needs to be.” I’m not saying that you’re making this relationship stronger. I’m not saying that you’re doing this so “we can get back together and have a wonderful life together.” I’m saying you’re using words to convey that no matter what this turns into, I still want to be there for you and connected to you, and make sure that you and I get through this okay. It doesn’t mean it has to be forever.
What you’re doing is sort of using some placating words. Again, a little deceptive, but if someone goes as far as threatening suicide, you might have to be a little deceptive, so they stay alive. Again, 99% of the time, they’re not going to do it. They don’t mean it, they just want to put the fear in you, so you’ll do what they want you to do. You can’t take the chance on that 1%, and this is why it’s tricky to talk about. It’s tricky to offer ideas and suggestions on what to do. You do what you can and sometimes what you have to do is be a little deceptive.
Sometimes you have to go in the direction that makes them feel better, that comforts them, that makes them feel secure. For example, imagine you’re a customer in a bank and then someone comes into rob it and they have a gun. You decide to do speed dial on your phone and dial 911 and then hide your phone.
The robber sees you putting your phone away, and he or she comes over and asks, “What did you do?” Are you going to say, “Well, I just called 911.” No, you’re probably not. You’re going to protect yourself; you’re going to make the bank robber feel at ease. And you’re going to say, “No, I wasn’t doing anything. I’m sorry, I’ll do anything you ask.” You’re going to want to make them feel at ease so that they don’t fly off the handle, so that they don’t start shooting.
Sometimes when you’re in a situation like this, you can’t always be truthful. You can’t. You might have to role-play a little bit. If you’re in a situation where someone threatens suicide or something else major, they’re going to hurt themselves, you might have to be placating. You might have to let them know that it’s okay, and you’re still there, and everything is going to be fine, and let’s work this out. You might have to do that.
These are short term things. This isn’t something that lasts forever. You have to get through these short-term sensitive moments so you can get to that point where things are going pretty good, and you can say, “Look, I’ve thought about this, and I want to be able to live apart for a while.” You approach it with so much love and so much care and making them believe that it is for the best for this relationship to grow and prosper.
These suggestions are a little controversial. These suggestions might hit on your morality or your ethics. These suggestions aren’t necessarily by the book, they’re just ways to get through the hard times so that you can create a better situation for both of you. You might have to be the one to take control of this, but in a way that makes them feel comfortable and secure, so that they don’t fly off the handle, and they don’t reuse threats against you again. It’s weaning you off of them so that you’re both healthier.
It is tricky. I don’t expect this to go 100% perfectly. I’m just giving you food for thought that could be helpful if you’re ever in the situation.
Let me give you my last suggestion. This is another Dr. Neuman approach:
4. Make sure that the partner who threatened to kill themselves is reminded of all of their amazing qualities.
No matter what relationship they’re in, whether it’s yours or another one they’re in, it should be conveyed to them that they’re going to be just fine because they’re absolutely lovable and worthy.
He didn’t use those words exactly but I look at it like this, when you get into a relationship with someone that uses you as their source of energy and happiness, you will become burdened, and you’ll feel a lot of pressure to comply with their needs, or you face the consequences of them making you feel bad. Because if you aren’t supplying them with all of these things, they’re going to try to draw it out of you in some way. That could be guilting you. That could be having you access your compassion and making you feel bad because you’re not being compassionate.
They’re going to use these things against you. Again, it’s all based on their fears that they’ll lose what they now have. You supply them with what they need instead of them supplying themselves what they need. Having you as the source becomes a permanent need for them. It’s just so energy draining, you just can’t stick around for it, which is why you do have to wean yourself off of them.
What happens is, when someone leaves the relationship, when someone leaves you, and you don’t want the breakup, it’s like a piece of your heart is missing. It’s like they’ve ripped it out. If you don’t have the backup system of lots of self-worth and self-esteem and self-care and self-love, it’s hard to fill your heart back up. It’s hard to fill that because you are so dependent on the other person. This is where they usually are.
They’re so dependent on you because they don’t have enough self-love, self- compassion and self-care. You become their supply. Someone who doesn’t have a lot of self-worth and self-esteem tries to squeeze it out of other people, and it becomes a drain on them and will cause exhaustion and eventually a breakup, because no one can sustain being that kind of energy source for long.
My point is that with a person who does this, you want to help them discover or rediscover their sense of self-worth. Even if you get to the point where you’re apart, and they believe you’re working on the relationship with them, a good idea is to continue helping them see that they are worthy and important, not just to you though, or maybe not to you at all, maybe in general. You’re so important, you’re so lovable, you’re so amazing, you’re such a kind person, you say these things to them, it doesn’t mean that you’re saying it from you (unless you mean it then you can say it’s from you) but what you’re trying to instill is that, in general, “The world loves you and the world sees you as important. These people see you as worthy, these people love you and support you and want you to be happy. These people see you a smart, these people see you as pretty or handsome” or whatever.
It’s just a reminder to them to help you help them re-nurture themselves so that they will eventually feel this so much that they don’t require it from anyone else.
You’re still using all of these external sources, other people, to let them know that they are valid and worthy and wonderful, but you’re doing that in a way so that they aren’t so reliant on you being their only source for all of that.
This is part of the process of weaning you away from them. Eventually, with enough time, you may have to get to that point where you say, “You know, it’s not going to work out. I love you, and you’re so amazing in so many ways, but I need to move on. I need to be by myself.” I wouldn’t recommend you say. “I’m going to go date other people.” I wouldn’t recommend you post it on your Instagram or Facebook that you’re dating someone else.
I wouldn’t recommend any of that, because this person needs to move on as well, and I know this is a lot of work for you, I get that but if you want to get through this sort of unscathed, it’s going to be hard. If you want to get through this, you just want to lay low and do your best to make sure that they understand that they are amazing in so many ways.
You may not really feel that, and that’s going to be the hard part. If you don’t feel that at all, it’s going to be hard to play that game. I’m not saying you should. I’m saying it can help. I’m saying a person that’s in this space, wherever they are inside themselves, probably never got that kind of healthy nurturing. Because they never did, they seek it in other relationships, so that they’ll feel complete, so that they will feel fulfilled.
Even if you’re not in a relationship where the other person is threatening suicide or threatening to hurt themselves or threatening you and other ways, even if you’re not in that type of relationship, I hope that you can see that relying on someone else to fulfill what’s missing or lacking in you, can be what causes an unhealthy dependency on the other person.
If you’re always seeking it from the other person, and that person isn’t necessarily capable of giving it, you’ll always be seeking, they’ll never be enough. They’ll never be enough of that supply that you need. This is why you might have to be your own coach, your own therapist, your own mom, your own dad, your own best friend, sometimes, just to help you fill that in yourself.
These are good things to think about. What are you relying on in your partner that if you didn’t get it from him or her, where do you get it elsewhere? Do you have enough self-love and self-care and compassion in you that if you were to separate or break up from your partner, would your foundation would be strong enough to that you could lift yourself back up and get back on your feet? Ask yourself “Is my emotional foundation strong enough to catch me so that I can get back up if everything fell apart?”
Relationships can be a wonderful thing; they add to our lives. They give us experiences that we don’t have when we’re alone. We can’t experience some of the things that we can when we have someone else in our life. Being alone has its own benefits too. It’s hard to experience some of the freedoms and liberties of being alone, when you’re in a relationship.
I think the best of both worlds is probably the best that can happen. When you can have your individuality, the freedom to be yourself knowing that even if this other person is no longer with me, I’ll still be okay. I love having this other person in my life, and I couldn’t imagine myself with anyone else.
Those are healthy thoughts, even though it sounds like there’s some dependency in there, but because you have a strong emotional foundation, you know you’ll be okay. If they leave me, it’ll hurt. I’ll mourn; I’ll feel awful, but I’ll be okay. I’ll be fine.
This is a strong emotional foundation inside of you. Hopefully, whoever you’re with or are going to be with in the future has that as well. That’s a great topic to talk about when you’re dating, just to find out where they are.