Emotional dependence and the object of desire

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Louise Hay
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Emotional dependence and the object of desire

The choice of an emotionally dependent partner is not the fruit of fate. In many cases it is the result of an unconscious search.

Last update: 13 March, 2022

Often people who have had harmful and destructive relationships find themselves repeating the same patterns, but with different individuals. It can be frustrating and painful to check out the misfortune that accompanies us in love, but the truth is that the choice of the object of desire is not accidental: emotional dependence guides us.



It is not luck that makes us constantly forge bonds with the same type of person. It is our unconscious that guides us in the shadows. For this reason, it is essential to analyze our choices and discover the underlying causes.

Until you are aware of your unconscious choices, they will dominate your life and you will call them fate.

-Carl G. Jung-

The choice of the object of desire and emotional dependence

Emotional dependence is a pathological form of bonding that is based on affective deficiency. The need for approval and the fear of abandonment are so intense that the individual often tolerates abuse and harassment. In reality, however, he wants the relationship to continue.

When the couple breaks out (usually by the will of the partner) the individual suffering from emotional dependence is deprived of the point of reference that supported him. He therefore suffers from a sort of withdrawal syndrome that causes him to bond again as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the pattern tends to repeat itself and the subject finds himself involved in a conflictual, unstable and painful relationship.

It is not uncommon that after various experiences of this kind one wonders how it is possible to end up always dealing with cold and overbearing subjects. Individuals who further undermine the already low self-esteem of these subjects. In addition to this, it is important to understand that it is precisely this lack of self-love that leads to subconsciously selecting these partners.



What are the characteristics of the object of desire?

Susceptible to possible idealization

Those with a delicate emotional balance try to bond with like-minded people to establish a reciprocal and symmetrical exchange. In reverse those with emotional dependence feel attracted to people they feel are superiors and tend to idealize. 

This supposed superiority does not usually mean that the individual truly possesses special qualities. It is his iron self-esteem and excessive self-confidence that dazzle the addicted person.

These people find in self-praising individuals what they lack: self-love. So it's not uncommon for the person who develops an addiction to actually be more valid and capable than their partner, but also that neither of them perceives it as such.

The narcissist

This deep self-esteem very often results in narcissism and egolatry. In fact, objects of desire tend to be self-centered, manipulative and empathetic people. Cold and inaccessible individuals who feel grandiose and worthy of any privilege.

The picture of excessive self-praise is completed by belittling the dependent subject. The latter offers the former the praise and dedication that the narcissist believes he deserves.

The dominant subject and emotional dependence

Narcissism leads to seeking a position of superiority in the couple relationship and to demanding subordination from the partner. Following this, the narcissist will be attracted to an insecure and dependent person.

Again, a perfect match is formed, as the emotional addict (due to their low self-esteem) cannot cope with the narcissist. Indeed, she admires him, praises him and praises him continuously. He neglects its defects and submits to any form of humiliation and contempt, which even comes to consider normal.



The choice of the object of desire: a perfect fit

After analyzing these characteristics, it is clear that the union between emotionally dependent subjects and narcissists is not dictated by chance. The qualities of the former and the shortcomings of the latter complement each other perfectly, ensuring that each of the two obtains from the other what it unconsciously seeks.


Under no circumstances is this a conscious or deliberate decision. No one would voluntarily choose an exploitative and bullying person to share their life with. Yet, until the addict has the courage to face his own shortcomings, the cycle will repeat itself.


If you have recognized yourself in what has just been described, if you have seen yourself in these asymmetrical and harmful relationships, be aware of it. Reflect on the consequences of choosing such an object of desire for your relationships and address the causes. Only by working on your self-esteem will you be able to get rid of fears and emptiness. Only in this way will you reach a position that allows you to relate as an equal, in the name of love and respect.

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