Signs of an emotionally dependent partner; tips to deal with them

In relationships, it is important to be there for your partner and stay emotionally connected with them in order for the bond to grow stronger with time. But at times, a partner’s emotional needs may be too much to accommodate and could be detrimental to a relationship eventually. A partner who is completely dependent on you emotionally would need your approval at every stage, in every decision, situation and almost every minute. (Also read: How to express emotional needs in a relationship: Psychologist shares tips)

They get anxious the moment you leave them and fear spending time alone; they may also stall decisions till you give them your approval. Emotionally dependent people at core may have trouble handling their emotions, thus they seek others’ support to help with their emotions or make decisions for them. They often depend on others for happiness but this may take a toll on their partner.

“If you’re in a relationship with someone who seems to need your emotional support 24/7, it might be time for some tough love. In any relationship, it is important to have a sense of independence. This is especially true when it comes to romantic relationships. An emotionally dependent partner can be exhausting and overwhelming. They may require constant attention and reassurance. This can be a lot for one person to handle. If you find yourself in a relationship with an emotionally dependent partner, it is important to set boundaries early on. Communicate with your partner about what you are comfortable with and what your needs are in the relationship,” says Dr Chandni Tugnait, M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director – Gateway of Healing.


Wondering if your partner is emotionally dependent on you? Here are some signs to look for.

1. They feel uncomfortable without contact or validation from others such as family members, friends, you.

2. They always need your approval for everything, no matter how small or large the request is.

3. If you’re not around they’ll start using other people as substitutes to fill that void in their lives.

4. They constantly need reassurance.

5. They have difficulty making decisions.

6. They become clingy.

7. They exhibit extreme jealousy.


Dealing with emotionally dependent partners can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to feel like you are walking on eggshells or constantly ignoring your own needs.

Dr. Chandni Tugnait shares 5 tips on how we should handle an emotionally dependent partner.

1. Let them know how much they mean in your life by telling the truth without being rude or harbouring any negative feelings towards them.

2. Create boundaries that allow for enough time away from the relationship without feeling guilty about spending quality alone-time.

3. Keep verbal agreements clear and concise so there aren’t any misunderstandings when one person may not want something as much as another does.

4. Make sure there’s enough time spent together as couples – doing activities outdoors.

5. Provide them with unconditional love, care and attention.

“If you’re noticing any of the signs, your partner may be emotionally dependent on you. This can take away intimacy from the relationships because one person might feel as though all attention is focused towards fixing problems rather than exploring love. If this feels like a problem that you want to address, please reach out for professional help,” suggests Dr Tugnait.

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