spouse.) When our expectations are not met by our lover, we have
problems (disappointment and anger).
Being familiar with these theories--and that is all they are--may
make us more aware of the emotional dependency and
unreasonableness involved in "blind" love. This awareness can help us
cope. If deep, intimate love cannot exist without certain kinds of
dependencies, maybe we can anticipate those needs and handle them.
Judith Bardwick (1979) and Marion Solomon (1994) say that lovers are
always dependent. To them dependency merely means mature lovers
need affection and affirmation as being good, capable people. Lovers
do not need to be insecure, self-doubting, and helpless. But
dependency is a part of intimacy. They say mature lovers need both
closeness and also distance; they need emotional connections and also
autonomy. This is called an interdependent relationship.
Without a long-term commitment to a love relationship, Bardwick
says we are in danger of feeling insecure, finding little meaning in life,
and longing for unconditional love (Mother's love or amae). I think
love may be a basic human need, like safety or being touched or sex. I
think there is some inevitable pain when love is lost (at least, it seems
true for most of us). Thus, people in love are not independent in the
sense that they can just easily walk away (angry lovers perhaps can).
Healthy people in love are independent enough that they can, with
conscious effort, walk away from a very unhappy, restrictive
relationship. Having formed a couple, each person should, of course,
remain free to have his/her own interests, friends, and activities. So,
lovers need to be independent and dependent.
A student shared with me this beautiful, poignant message:
Being Your Own Person
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand
and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes
open, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground
is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down
After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much,
so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of
waiting for someone to bring you flowers,
And you learn that you really can endure,
That you really are strong and you really do have worth,
And you learn and learn... with every goodbye you learn.
-An unknown lover