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“Be with someone who makes you happy.”

I saw this quote a few days and was instantly reminded of relationships, boundaries, and codependency. My work as a counselor frequently, if not always, gives me a view into the inner workings of the relationships of my clients. In Dr. John Van Epp’s book, “How To Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk,” he lists four bullet points that seems to directly address how to be emotionally healthy for yourself and how to be in a healthy relationship.

1. Healthy people make healthy choices; thus being the best person you can be is necessary for building a healthy relationship.
2. Being healthy yourself is not enough; you need to get healthy and smart about relationships.
3. Unhealthy emotional needs are normal needs taken to extremes. If not met, these needs can become the seeds for later relationship problems.
4. Change is possible, but not without these four ingredients: insight into yourself, new information, motivation, and time.

If we are not happy with ourselves, we tend to look for that need to be fulfilled through another person often in a dating relationship. When we depend on another person for us to be happy or healthy it can put unrealistic expectations on our partner and sometimes create a relationship built on codependency. We must “be someone who makes you happy” so that we can enter into relationships not because we need to be in a relationship or we need someone to meet our needs, but rather because we WANT to be in that relationship.

Van Epp, J. (2007). How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk. New York: McGraw Hill.
Guest post by Julie Gurgone, LPC—Personal Resource Counselor.

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