Whether we arrive here via co-dependence or are fortunate enough to come from a safe and secure environment where we were permitted to be dependent until we were ready to let go, once we enter the stage of independence, our task is to get to know ourselves intimately and to love and respect this being that is us. Learning who we are, what we need, and then taking steps to meet these needs in ways that demonstrate love and respect for ourselves is what it means to be an individual. Each of us needs a certain period of time as an individual, independent of others (parents/significant others), to come to truly know ourselves and to develop a sense of ourselves as a unique and valuable person in this world. If you are in a committed relationship which has some co-dependent tendencies, it will be important to establish firm boundaries about: (a) time for yourself, (b) deepening your sense of security and awareness as an individual, and (c) no longer taking responsibility for the emotional needs of your partner.

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