Codependence vs. Interdependence
People are often concerned about being codependent, particularly in romantic relationships. Many of us have bought into the idea that having a strong sense of independence is best. But let’s not completely pathologize codependency. Codependency stems from wanting to depend on others. Many communities, particularly those of color, have relied heavily on the connection with others to survive. And on a neurological level this is normal and makes sense. Our brains are actually wired to connect socially and rely on others to protect from threat and thrive. However, while we need some form of dependency to survive, a more useful way to consider dependent relationships is through interdependence. The difference with interdependence is that it allows for individuals to exist as individuals as well as part of a relationship. The individual can exist and feel secure as an individual and may also depend on the partner for love, safety, reassurance, and support.