Relationship Series: Red Flags – Part 4

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

This article will discuss someone saying they can’t live without you OR saying they can’t imagine a certain person not being in their life as relationship red flags. The accompanying video can be found here.

1. The person says they need you and can’t live without you.

A person that says this to you is inadvertently depending on you to meet all of their physical, mental, and psychological needs for them to feel happy and satisfied with their life. The friendship or relationship you develop with this person will be a codependent one because they’ll be dependent on you for a positive outlook in their life. There’s something lacking in this person’s life they haven’t thought deep enough about to realize what it is or how they can work toward obtaining it. It’s easier for them to put the responsibility on someone else to meet their needs.

There are several problems with being with a person who says they need you and can’t live without you. First and foremost, they don’t take responsibility for any area of their life. They depend on you and will blame you for their feelings, whether good, bad, or indifferent. They don’t hold themselves accountable for their choices.

Another problem is you’ll likely become emotionally exhausted with attempting to meet all of their needs as well as be unfulfilled in your own life. You expressing your unmet needs may create an argument because they don’t feel responsible for your feelings or needs being met, all the while depending on you to meet theirs. They don’t realize how draining they are and may question your commitment to them when you express feeling emotionally tired, wanting to have your needs met, or suggesting ways they can improve themselves and the relationship.

They may refuse to seek professional help because they feel you should be able to fix whatever’s wrong. They refuse to work toward being independent. You can encourage someone and even present them with materials to help better themselves, but you can’t make them put the effort into doing so.

A codependent person, if you accept a place in their life, puts you in ‘savior mode.’ It may be a conscious, or subconscious, thought you have to save this person from their problems. However, if you’re ego driven, you may enjoy being the person they depend on for everything; which also makes you codependent. They’re seeking something from you in order to feel whole and you enjoy meeting, or attempting to meet, their needs in order for you to feel whole.

The person may subconsciously want you to make them feel secure and that becomes the focus of the relationship. Since security comes from an internal perspective, there isn’t anything you can do to fulfill that need 100% of the time. Once they feel you’re not doing what they need you to do, they’ll question the validity of your love and commitment to them. This scenario creates an unstable foundation for the relationship because it doesn’t provide opportunities for growth. Time and energy are spent solely on creating a safe place, mentally and physically, for the other person who, ironically, isn’t able to meet your needs due to focusing on you meeting their own.

2. They say they can’t imagine their life without a certain person in it.

The above statement may not sound like a big deal. I suggest you think of what it may mean further down the road. A person who’s insistent on someone else remaining in their life, may make unhealthy choices and shift their boundaries in order to keep that person around.

The process of getting to know someone entails asking questions such as: what are you looking for in a partner, where do you see yourself in five years, do you want children, where do you envision your retirement home to be, do you enjoy the nightlife or prefer educational outings such as to museums, etc. It seems most people trust others until given a reason not to, which means you’re likely to trust what this person tells you.

A person who later tells you they can’t imagine their life without so-and-so in it, may relax or eliminate the boundaries, likes, and dislikes they initially expressed to you. Again, this may not sound like a big deal. However, if this person repeatedly reverses their word to you, you may lose trust in what they tell you. You’re likely to view this person as unstable due to their uncertainty of what they want from life and love, even though they were adamant about it when they first met you.

Yes, people grow and evolve. Yes, life circumstances can sway a person’s perspective. However, the core of the person should remain the same. A person who seemingly changes their mind about things solely based on the presence, or perceived diminishing presence, of someone else in their life shows a lack of integrity. They aren’t being honest with themselves or you. It’s likely this person doesn’t realize their change in behavior or mindset, so it’s up to you to bring it up for discussion. You’ll need to decide if you want to remain in a relationship with this person. They do care about you and want to be with you. However, they’ll also do what they feel is necessary to ensure the other person remains significant in their life, even if it means displaying behaviors that diminishes your trust in them.

I’d love to hear if you’ve experienced the abovementioned red flags in a potential relationship and how you dealt with it. If you recognized yourself in the article, what have you learned or how did you overcome those perspectives?

Comments are always welcome as well as sharing this article using the available social media buttons. Subscribe via email for automatic notification of new posts and the continuation of this series.

Thank you.

Published by


I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *