Loving Too Much

love heart and arrowA few years ago, a woman died from drinking too much water. Yes, the very foundation for earthly life itself can be harmful…if too much is put into the body at once. Love is the same way. A very good thing can be a huge problem if it is overblown or unhealthy. In the case of romantic relationships, loving too much is a problem if it leads to co-dependence.

Co-dependent relationships are where one person becomes dependent on the other person, enabling their partner’s behavior while putting the co-dependent’s needs second. I’ve heard it jokingly defined as this: when a co-dependent is dying someone else’s life flashes before their eyes. That is how fused they become with another human being.

Loving someone to the point of endlessly accepting abuse and other problems isn’t really love. It’s co-dependence and attachment. I know people who’ve spent years with an abuser, good-for-nothing, or outright criminal all out of “love.” However, that love is, of course, one way. But, those individuals must have enough love to cover both parties.

Being attached to another person is a normal part of falling in love. However, attachment, in the negative sense of the word, isn’t healthy. This is where a person loses his or her own emotional (and otherwise) independence. I saw this a lot during my teaching days. A student would date someone, become attached, and suddenly all his or her uniqueness vanished. That person would become a clone of the boyfriend or girlfriend and all time would be spent with the significant other.

This isn’t just unhealthy, it’s a bad relationship strategy. A person needs to be his or her best self. While all relationships involve compromise, one partner can’t do all of the compromising, or all of the loving. When selflessness and loving sacrifice become the domain of one person (whether male or female), then it’s loving too much.

For guys, being too attached or co-dependent on a girl isn’t even considered attractive. Independent guys are much more desired than men who get whiny, needy, and overly emotional. You can be loving and understanding and express emotion. But if you need your girlfriend to the point that you can’t imagine your life without her? Well, then you’ve crossed into pathetic. And, if she’s emotionally healthy herself, she’ll agree.

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, dating expert, and business owner. His articles have been viewed millions of times, and he has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.

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