Symbiotic Relationships: Everything Together, Nothing Apart

There are as many ways to love as there are people in the world. However, despite the differences, there are also a series of common aspects that define the different ways of loving and relating as a couple, such as the need to merge with the other and lose the individual identity that occurs in symbiotic relationships. .

These are couples that are psychologically linked at extreme levels and in which their members behave as if they were one. There is nothing beyond, only their particular universe, the one in which they do everything together, for better and for worse. Let’s go deeper.

A world of two: characteristics of the symbiotic bond

In the animal world, symbiosis is the process by which at least two different species join or interact with each other with different levels of cooperation to obtain a benefit, either common or only for one of the participants. This is the case of the whale shark that allows much smaller fish, such as pilot fish, to clean its jaw, gills and skin and these are fed and protected while they do so.

However, in couple relationships, this phenomenon occurs in a different way, since its members monopolize each other completely to the point that they cannot do anything without each other. There is no time or attention for other matters. They have gone from being two people to becoming one.

Perhaps at first it may seem somewhat confusing, as it is often thought that this is how relationships should be. What happens is that in symbiotic relationships, its members are drowned in a we, that is, everything else has ended up to what each one did alone. There is only his universe, his world. Individuality has been lost.

In addition, in this type of relationship other types of characteristics are usually given:

  • They love each other because they need each other. People who create these types of bonds are usually emotionally immature and relate to each other from need, rather than preference. They often fill their emotional voids with the presence of the other.
  • Its members often have low self-esteem or problems in childhood.
  • They take responsibility for each other’s pain. In the absence of individuality, they feel responsible for the feelings of the other, although at certain times they also blame him for how they feel and do not hesitate to blame him.
  • Fears and jealousies tend to appear constantly. Low self-esteem often causes a large number of concerns, such as that the other person will end up breaking the relationship or be unfaithful. There is so much insecurity that is experienced, so much fear that suffocates them, but they are so camouflaged that they appear through these types of thoughts and behaviors. In addition, being possessive relationships, jealousy is also quite frequent.
  • Lack of identity. Members of symbiotic relationships progressively lose their identity to adopt partner’s likes, preferences, and ways of thinking. This happens to such an extent that they end up not being able to differentiate between what the couple likes and their own tastes.
  • It generates a lot of suffering and discomfort. It is inevitable that suffering appears in this type of relationship, if there is only need and not freedom, if possession and fusion with the other are the ways they have to relate, since they put the possibility of being happy in the other.

How to break the symbiosis?

Leaving a symbiotic relationship is possible, however it is not easy. It is not because it is necessary to reconfigure the conception of both love and relationships, in addition to healing the emotional wounds of the past, in order to get to know each other and not lose individuality. For this, it is important to be clear about certain aspects:

  • Loving is not needing. We were born whole, we don’t need a better half to complete us. Therefore, love does not feed on necessity, but on preference, on free choice. The other person is not there to cover our deficiencies or fill our gaps.
  • There is time for everything. That we have a partner does not imply that we abandon everything we were doing or that we stop seeing our friends and family. It is true that at the beginning of the relationship we have that intense desire to spend 24 hours with the other, but it is the result of the revolution that occurs in the infatuation phase. However, keeping activities, relationships or hobbies is synonymous with health, because then where are we?
  • Each one is responsible for himself. This is one of the most important aspects: we cannot take responsibility for everything the other person says, does or feels, it is not our responsibility, but theirs. We can help you, understand you or listen to you, but ultimately it is she who has to make decisions and act.
  • It is necessary to maintain personal identity. We cannot make ourselves invisible and adopt the behaviors, thoughts and feelings of the other. More than anything because we cancel ourselves and deceive the other, since we do not allow him to discover how we are. This chameleonic attitude, typical of symbiotic relationships, is undoubtedly very dangerous because in the process of loving we end up losing ourselves.
  • You have to learn from the differences. Discovering the other, identifying their differences, learning from them… it can be fascinating. This does not imply that you have to like everything about it, but that you are willing to know other ways of observing the world, other perspectives that, if they are healthy, can contribute a lot.

It is also important to reflect on the relationship, that is, what benefits does it have for your well-being? What losses does it imply?

Finding a quiet place to talk with your partner about how you relate can be an opportunity to start thinking about things differently. Talk about your pain, fear or anxiety that you experience, how insecurity drowns …

Finally, in the event that you do not know very well what to do or that you experience that discomfort is present most of the time in your relationship, it is recommended that you go to psychological therapy.

Leaving symbiotic relationships requires as much time as awareness and effort by the members of the couple, but the result is worth it: because the experience of healthy love is extraordinary.


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