We have it all wrong. Our North American culture has framed dependency as a bad thing, a weakness. Not so say two leaders in the field of neuroscience and relationships, Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Daniel Seigel. Being attached to someone provides our greatest sense of security and safety. It means depending on a partner to respond when you call, to know that you matter to him or her, that you are cherished, and that they will respond to your emotional needs. Our western culture has promoted independence to a new level of loneliness in today’s society. In North America, 25% of people do not have someone who they can safely confide in. There is nothing wrong with independence, don’t get me wrong. But we have it all backwards. We can’t be independent first and then get into relationship, physician heal thyself be darned. We develop our independence once we have a safe haven, a secure bond with our loved one. Then we have all the confidence in the world to take a step out into that scary place we call life. Life is much more appealing to explore when we know that someone has our back, that we are important to someone. What I am talking about here is healthy inter-dependency. When we have that, then we become naturally independent as well. Without it, independence is looks more like loneliness. So reach out, meet your needs for healthy connection. It takes a strong person to be vulnerable, so ask for what you need.