Updated: Jan 27
Last year I received a gift that changed my view on relationships and certainly changed my life.
I met my girlfriend in May of last year. We dated for a while and then became more serious.
My girlfriend is a very vibrant, caring, and independent woman, and early in our relationship, I figured out that she didn’t need me. And I mean ‘need’ in a way that puts expectations on me. My girlfriend didn't need me to heal anything. I didn’t have to be anyone else, and I didn’t have to do anything apart from being me and being honest.
I noticed that this triggered anxiety in me, especially when I had to travel a lot during the summer. She loved being with me, and she was totally ok with me being away.
During my travels, we had a beautiful connection, and I noticed my system looking for an “I miss you so much” or “I wish you were here”. None of that. I could feel her love for me in her words though and fully enjoyed our talks.
My system was confused. I couldn't deny the voice in my head: "If she doesn’t need me, what is my purpose in our relationship? If she doesn’t miss me, why should we then be together? Does she really love me if she doesn’t need me?" Something in me didn’t believe it and struggled.
After a lot of reflection and a deep process, it dawned on me. Internally, I translate ‘needing me’ into ‘loving me’. This is what I have done all my life. This is the language that I understand.
It started with my mother when I was very young. She needed me and loved me for my contribution to her life, for what I gave her.
It started when I was ten years old, maybe even younger than that. I cared for her; I softened her loneliness or emotional pain; I was there to listen to her stuff; I chose her side in conflicts. Energetically, I was her partner rather than her son. I was taught that needing me means loving me… Her love was conditional, and I was co-dependent. Of course! I couldn’t leave and live my life on my own. I was too young. So there was no other way.
Looking back, to a degree, this has been present in most of my relationships. The feeling that my partner needed me gave me the confirmation that she still loved me. And I was willing to give, always.
It was such a revelation to see this. In a way, I always felt it. My entire life felt like a conditional dynamic, it felt constrained, like a lack of freedom. Somehow I could not free myself of this dynamic. It even has something addictive...
Coming home after my last trip, I decided to reveal this realization to my girlfriend, and I felt the impact of her words in my body: “You are right; I don’t need you. But I love you for who you are”.
The sensations I felt hearing these words were complex. Part of me feels so much freedom in this. It's like breaking out of the restraints around my chest and body. I don't have to be anyone but myself. I don't have to heal anything, and nothing is expected of me. Another part of me felt a bit lost. So, if I am not needed, what is my purpose in this relationship?
Half a year later now, my system has adapted. I am allowing to feel the freedom of the lack of co-dependency. Sometimes it's a little scary still, but hey. It's new and exciting! Being in this new dynamic helps me to develop my ability to receive love, pure love.
For me, this feels like the best gift ever...