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Mizutsuki

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I've just recently begun noticing that some of my behaviors may be codependent. I'm afraid of what I might be doing to my friends. I just wanted to know if there is any litmus test, or threshold... any sort of hard and fast rule or question I can ask myself to determine if what I'm doing is manipulative, or if it's actually based on my love for my friends/lovers?
Thank you.
 

David Baxter

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Speaking just for myself, I have no idea how to start answering your question. I think we need a little more information.
 

Mizutsuki

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Speaking just for myself, I have no idea how to start answering your question. I think we need a little more information.

Sorry, I was trying to avoid boring you all with a long story about my life.

Two years ago I fell in love with a man with whom I'd been close friends for two years prior to that. I'd always figured (for a number of reasons) that that love would never be reciprocated in any kind of a sexual way. I made my affection known and he very gently rebuffed me, which was alright because we got to continue being very good friends. Recently we got a lot closer (because of some stuff in his life) and over the last 5 months or so he's been my best friend. On Saturday he and I were sleeping together (literally sleeping) when we unexpectedly kissed, and then one thing led to another and we had sex. The next morning we talked about it, and he told me that he loved me back. He's been extremely good throughout our entire relationship (but especially in the last five months) about helping me make healthy psychological decisions with my life. Now I'm not sure who to talk to about my desires, because what I really desire right now more than anything is for this not to be the beginning of a serious relationship. What scares me is that, completely unrelated to this, my mom and I had a conversation where she told me that something I told her about myself was codependent behavior. So I looked it up and she was right, I think. My concern is that the way I might pursue my friend might be manipulative. I'm afraid maybe even the very desire to be with him stems from a desire to be loved, and not the simpler kind of direct unconditional love. I'm so scared of screwing this up, he really is the man of my dreams... I just want to make sure my dreams aren't being influenced by a lack of self-esteem, and even more importantly that I'm not choosing my actions in order to corner him into accepting me, because it's difficult for me to tell why I do some of the things I do.
So the question is, is there any hard and fast way question I might put to myself with regard to any action I'm taking in order to further my relationship that will help me determine if my motives are purely loving, or if they are a device I'm using to extort love from him (or really any person.)

Again, thank you.
 

David Baxter

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It sounds to me like you are overanalyzing the situation.

Can you tell us more about this behavior your mother said was "codependent"? (I really dislike that term, by the way. It is much overused, in my opinion.)
 

Mizutsuki

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It sounds to me like you are overanalyzing the situation.

Can you tell us more about this behavior your mother said was "codependent"? (I really dislike that term, by the way. It is much overused, in my opinion.)

I believe you when you say it is, I've been overusing it, I'm sure.
I was telling my mom about this general idea that I really want people to rely upon me. I specifically had this idea that, because my income is much higher than any of my friends (we're all in our early twenties) I might be able to live with some of them in a nice house by paying more rent. My thought was that I could get them to want to live with me by using my resources (in this case money) to make their lives easier. I didn't go ahead with this plan, but the desire was so strong that I couldn't ignore what my mom had said.
It's also especially problematic because my friend, the guy I'm in love with, describes himself as an enabler, and from what I've read it's a bad pairing to have someone with low self-esteem paired with an enabler because of the tendency towards codependency. It concerns me, so I was just looking for a way to assure that I wasn't doing anything like that. I feel right now like this is the biggest most important thing I've ever done, and that it's extraordinarily delicate, so I wanted a scientific perspective on this one issue I thought might be especially elusive in helping me pin it down.

Thank you.
 

David Baxter

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I'm running out of steam tonight but I'll try to reply more tomorrow.

Do you think you lack self-esteem or self-confidence? Are you saying that you felt a need to "bribe" your friends to live with you? Or was it more that you thought it would be fun as well as a way to help out your friends by doing this?

If you believe you love this man, and he feels the same way, worrying about being codependent seems like a poor reason to give up the opportunity to at least explore the relationship further.
 

Mizutsuki

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I'm running out of steam tonight but I'll try to reply more tomorrow.

Do you think you lack self-esteem or self-confidence? Are you saying that you felt a need to "bribe" your friends to live with you? Or was it more that you thought it would be fun as well as a way to help out your friends by doing this?

If you believe you love this man, and he feels the same way, worrying about being codependent seems like a poor reason to give up the opportunity to at least explore the relationship further.

I am not, in any way, suggesting that I want to give up the opportunity. I'm trying to give myself the best opportunity I can. I just want to make sure that all of my actions reflect the feelings I believe I have.

I'm sorry, I don't understand the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence. I feel like the two alternative motivations for the housing situation you suggested are difficult to tell apart when I look inside myself at my own motivations. I think that my thoughts were the second one, but I don't trust myself not to have been motivated by the first.

I appreciate all of the attention your giving my thread.
 

David Baxter

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I guess my question about your friends was do you believe that they would not want to be roommates with you unless you "bribed" them in some way?

Self-esteem is basically how you evaluate yourself, how highly or poorly you think of yourself. Self-confidence is about whether you believe you can do something or not.
 
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I'm so scared of screwing this up, he really is the man of my dreams...
i think this is all you need to know. try not to label yourselves, i think that just complicates things.
 

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