When They Don't Want to Lose You But Don't Know How to Treat You

Some people don't want to lose you but don't know how to look after you. These relationships can be damaging.
When They Don't Want to Lose You But Don't Know How to Treat You
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

There are those who don’t take care of you or pay much attention to you, yet, at the same time, build a high fence around you so they won’t lose you. These are relationships based on the ego of a codependent personality, where affection becomes demanded and distorted.

Fearing that you’ll move away from them implies a lack of trust on their part. They might even adopt the dangerous idea of considering you as their personal possession. It should be noted that any relationship based on some kind of fear will inevitably generate a great deal of suffering.

There are those who don’t know how to take care of you. They don’t sense your sadness or disappointments. However, just because they don’t pay much attention to you, don’t let that mean that you neglect yourself too. Listen to your heart and listen to yourself.

As strange as it may seem, there are many couples who maintain this type of relationship over long periods of time. Here, we’ll explain why this happens. Also what to do to protect your self-esteem, if you find yourself in this kind of situation.

The controlling codependent

An interesting article published inWorld of Psychology defines the type of relationship in which one person exercises control and the other allows it. Its basic characteristics are as follows:

  • The controlling codependent experiences commitment as a type of addiction. Underlying their need for dominance is a lack of self-confidence. This means they deploy strategies and defense mechanisms to disable the other person and control them.
  • The anxiety felt by the codependent is so high that their own space ceases to exist. In fact, there’s only a ‘microworld’ full of mistrust, reproaches, and negative emotions.
  • The word compassionate has its roots in the Latin, ‘compati’, meaning to ‘suffer with’. The compassionate person is aware of their own dependence on their partner, and their partner’s need to stay in control for fear of losing them.
  • In spite of this fact, they can’t help but continue loving them, caring for them, and prioritizing them above themselves. These are complex relationships that break down in a characteristic circle of pain.
woman surrounded by white lilies representing the need to take care of yourself

Take care of yourself

The need for control and dependence are two inhibiting elements that promote an imbalance in any relationship. Obviously, emotional relationships are complex. However, in reality, the complexities lie in the people themselves and not in the relationship as such.

There are people who need to exercise control because it’s the only way they understand love. Others, even though they love sincerely, lack the emotional skills to know how to demonstrate adequate reciprocity. It’s important that in all relationships, ‘excellence’ is prioritized over ‘demand’. To do this, you can put the following strategies into practice.

couple side by side, depicting when they don't want to lose you.

Self-love is a relationship that should last forever

It’s essential that you never forget the need to take care of yourself and to pay attention to yourself. Curious as it may seem, and, as revealed by a study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, younger people have lower self-esteem than those who are 60 years of age.

Good self-esteem, self-knowledge, and emotional management remind you that whoever doesn’t pay attention to you or take care of you doesn’t deserve your attention, even less to make you unhappy. Therefore, don’t hesitate in looking for happiness elsewhere. 

Over time, your self-esteem generally increases. It’s as if your experiences sculpt you to reach maturity with greater poise and better balance. You should be able to enjoy each cycle, each stage, and reinforce the bond with yourself. This is self-love.

Say yes to a conscious emotional relationship

Mature relationships are those in which you’re emotionally aware. They work and bring you happiness.

  • There’s no need for control because there are no underlying worries, fears, insecurities, or the will to violate the personal space of the loved one.
  • Conscious and mature people share their fulfillment. They don’t bring shadows of selfishness or emptiness into a relationship for their partner to hide.
  • In mature relationships, you take care of each other and, in turn, allow yourselves to grow. You feel free yet, at the same time, bound together.
couple embracing with flowers

Finally, people who control others and make demands on them extend beyond romantic relationships. In fact, family and friends may also engage in the same behavior.

You must take action, defend your territory, take care of your rights, and, above all, listen to your inner voice when it asks for respect. Indeed, taking care of yourself is essential, so look after your self-esteem. You’re not being selfish for taking care of yourself.

Main image courtesy of Claudia Tremblay

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.