My own “Like” should be enough

Saw a video being circulated on Facebook about how posting too much about your relationship online could ruin it, and it made me cry like a baby.

As someone who has spent many years documenting her life online for those who are interested to read it, I can wholeheartedly relate to this story. I used to share every last bit and detail of my personal life on my blog and social media. How I met the guy, what we would do on our dates, even when we had big fights and problems.. I was so glad I found love, and I was ready to show the world just how lucky I was.

At first it was simply to share my joy online, but after awhile, it felt like a parade. It eventually exploded into a full blown self-obsession.

I guess with many things on social media, it’s often a facade. Things are never quite what they seem. But when it comes to relationships, pretending to be happy when you’re actually not is the fucking worst. I’ve had more girls than I can count enthusiastically tell me how envious they were of the relationship I had.

I didn’t know it then, but that put even more pressure on me to have a great relationship. One that was not only great to experience, but to read about. It was a main feature of my life. You have no idea what went on behind closed doors. You don’t know how many times I’ve smiled and posed for a photo for the sake of taking a nice shot, when deep inside, I wasn’t happy at all. And yet, the show must go on.

Or, does it? What happens when the lights come on and there’s no audience there to cheer you on but just you and yourself in your own raw, miserable form?

Looking back on the special memories I’ve posted online in recent years, sometimes I wish I didn’t bring my camera and phone along. Maybe then, I could’ve been in the moment entirely instead of worrying about the composition / filter of my photos and what caption I was going to put next on Instagram. Capturing it with my heart should have been enough. I can tell you that no matter how effortless some girls make it look, appearing glamorous on Instagram is a full time job.

Social media can be a life leech if you’re not careful with it. By itself, social media is a wonderful and inspiring thing, but boy is it dangerous. It can work really unhealthy ideas, comparison and powerful manipulation into your head. Social media posts from your peers may be about them, and not you, but somehow they find a way to subtly tell you, “this is what your life is supposed to be like.”

Too many times I was taking repeated photos of a special moment instead of enjoying it, too many dinners with people spent chatting online or surfing the net on my phone instead. I have been told off repeatedly by family members and loved ones about this. For this, I am ashamed.

But I’m glad I’m not quite like that anymore. I want to be the sort of person who has enough self control, respect and maturity to put my phone down long enough to look my companion in the eye, whoever it may be, and really listen to what they have to say. Whatever it is you have on your phone, it can wait for later. You owe more to the people you spend time with in real life than anyone online.

I have finally learned through the hardest way to experience something cool without shouting all about it, and realizing that my own validation of my happiness is good enough for me. It’s nice if the rest of the world approves, but even if they don’t, that does not matter at the end of the day. I guess this is what it means when they say, “disconnect to connect”.

A very difficult lesson in the life of a social media addict. I hope I will always remember that the reason why I love posting my thoughts and experiences online is because I genuinely enjoy sharing information and ideas with other people, and not because I thrive off the self esteem boost from every “Like” I get for my posts.

My own “Like” should be enough.


Recipe: Meatballs in Tomato Sauce & Cheesy Garlic Bread by Perfect Italiano

It’s nearing the end of the year again, which can only mean one thing for sure – everyone will be feasting on lots of indulgent food!

Let the pigging out begin. Every year, I make it a point to host elaborate and utterly gluttonous dinner parties for my friends and I, to celebrate getting through yet another tough year of life and get ourselves in the relaxed, holiday mood. Cooking food from the heart is one of the best and sincerest way to make someone happy. No one can be upset at you when you make them a meal of their dreams.

This festive season, one key ingredient I’ll be including in my dishes is my favorite Perfect Italiano cheese!

Perfect Italiano is a cooking cheese brand that adds simple Italian flair to everyday family meals. It is fuss-free easy to use, to prevent homemade meals from being difficult, complex and time-consuming. The difference between a normal chef and a great chef is careful execution and a wild imagination, and with that said, I like putting cheese on as many food dishes as I can think of! I’ve chosen to use Pizza Plus in today’s post because I adore how versatile this cheese is – it’s full bodied, yet light and textured to use in almost any dish that requires a topping of cheese.

You know what’s a dish I like eating but can hardly find good versions of when dining out?


Meatballs in Tomato Sauce


Pure, simple meatballs with moist, flavorful meat. Too many versions are too dry, tasting more like cardboad balls than meatballs. That’s why I’m going to share with you my own Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recipe, that your guests will praise you for at your next dinner party!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 250g pork, minced
  • 250g beef, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pinches of salt
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • chopped fresh English parsley
  • bunch of halved cherry tomatoes
  • a bottle of your favorite tomato pasta sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • additional seasoning such as paprika, herbs like thyme, etc optional to your preferences
  • a handful of Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus Grated Cheese


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
  2. Roll meat mixture into manageable sized balls
  3. If mixture doesn’t hold shape well enough, add more breadcrumbs to stiffen it
  4. Heat up a pan with 3cm deep oil, and shallow fry on each side for 2 minutes or until just cooked with pink insides
  5. Prepare a plate with paper towels to drain excess oil off meatballs with after removing them from frying pan
  6. Once all meatballs are cooked, pour the oil into a glass bowl before discarding it
  7. Using the same pan, stir fry the cherry tomatoes until semi-cooked, then pour in tomato pasta sauce
  8. After the tomato sauce is hot, arrange cooked meatballs into the pan
  9. Top off with your desired amount of Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus cheese, more black pepper and parsley for garnishing
  10. Serve in frying pan for extra rustic style points

What you’re looking at is deliciously moist meatballs with a simple but comforting flavor that is elevated by the tangy tomato sauce and stretchy cheese! Don’t the bright red and green colors remind you that Christmas is creeping up on us already?

You’d want to make sure your meatballs are not too salty, because the tomato sauce and cheese contains additional salt that will contribute to the overall saltiness. You can also substitute the minced pork for minced chicken if preferred.

Just look at that tantalizing cheese calling out for help! It needs you to put it in your mouth. Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus is made up of three cheeses – Mozzarella, for lending that stretchy bite, and Parmesan and Cheddar for a fuller flavor.

I suppose you could go the extra mile by making your own tomato sauce.This will be a popular choice with people of all ages at your dinner, especially kids who seek out tomato based dishes, and the men who enjoy red meat!


And what better sidekick and accompaniment to go with your glorious Meatballs in Tomato Sauce than good o’ trusty…

Cheesy Garlic Bread


  • your favorite loaf of freshly baked bread, sliced
  • many cloves of minced garlic
  • semi-melted butter
  • chopped fresh English parsley
  • a handful of Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus Grated Cheese


  1. Generously butter your sliced bread
  2. Spread minced garlic over the bread
  3. Top off with parsley, and a generous amount of Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus Cheese
  4. Bake in an oven or toaster at the highest setting for 3-5 minutes until edges of the bread are golden brown

Crisp around the edges, soft, buttery and cheesy in the center – nothing but garlic bread perfection!!

Don’t be a miser when buttering your bread – despite the copious amount of butter looking like it’s going to give you a heart attack, it’s actually what awesome garlic bread is made of. You’ll want to use freshly minced garlic instead of the dried stuff, because the flavor will be so much better. You’ll probably also want to brush your teeth really thoroughly after this meal before you talk to anyone up close. At least you’ll know you’re safe from vampires for the night.

These two dishes are a match made in heaven. One bite will have you singing “Hallelujah” in your head!

If you thought tomato meatballs were paired best with pasta, you are wrong. You have lived your life in darkness until this very moment. Let me educate you: they are literally AMAZEBALLS with garlic bread!

If I could describe it with one word, it would be “hearty”. A party in your mouth to make your dinner party complete.

Thank you Perfect Italiano for always inspiring me to come up with new recipes to experiment with, taking my love for cheese to newer heights each and every time! It has been a blossoming and fulfilling relationship ever since I first picked a packet of your cheesy goodness up!

Available at leading supermarkets, visit them at Perfect Italiano’s official website for more piping hot ideas to go bonkers in your kitchen with, and don’t forget to hashtag your own cheesy creations using #PerfectItalianoSG!


Vita Coco – Hydrate Naturally

A day on the beach is always a day well-spent for me.

There’s just something about the smell of the ocean breeze, sandy feet, salty windswept hair and the natural rays from the sun that rejuvenates your entire being.

And when I’m on the beach, I never miss out on having coconut water – the perfect way to cool yourself down on a hot summer day!

Since fresh coconuts are not always available, Vita Coco is my next preferred option for a refreshing pick-me-up.

Vita Coco is natural, never-ever-from-concentrate coconut water.

Stacked with naturally occurring electrolytes (and more potassium than a banana), Vita Coco is fat free, cholesterol free, and gluten free, so you get all the goodness without the guilt. Despite coconut water’s growing popularity, Vita Coco’s dedication to providing consumers with authentic taste and naturally-occurring nutrients remains the same today as when the brand was founded in 2004.

All Vita Coco beverages are made using only fresh coconut water, unlike many other brands that sell coconut water from concentrate, which can have a significant impact on flavour.

Some awesome perks about Vita Coco:

  • All Natural
  • Five Essential Electrolytes (More electrolytes than 15 Sports Drinks) – Potassium , Magnesium, Sodium, Phosphorous, Calcium
  • More potassium than a Banana
  • Zero Fat, Zero Cholesterol
  • Low in Calories

It feels pretty great knowing that the coconut water I enjoy drinking so much has all these awesome health benefits!

I like how convenient it is for me to have delicious coconut water whenever I want now – on the go, in the car, at home, at the beach, anywhere really. I love fresh coconuts the most – but sometimes they just aren’t an option. You can’t bring a fresh coconut anywhere you want, and even if you could.. you’d also have to bring along a chopper to hack the coconut open before you could enjoy it, that’s when Vita Coco comes in to save the day!

Apart from having this drink straight from the packaging, you can also whip up a fruit smoothie with a few simple ingredients! Here’s sharing my own personal favorite, Mango Coconut Smoothie!

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 330ml Vita Coco (1 packet)
  • 2 medium – large ripe mangoes
  • juice of 1 lime

Toss everything into a blender for 10 seconds on high speed, and you’ll end up with…

An awesome tropical smoothie that was almost effortless to make!

Mangoes and coconut = my kinda heaven. You can replace the mangoes with your favorite fruit – for example, bananas, blueberries and strawberries would be other great alternatives! Change up your choice of fruit and you could enjoy a different homemade smoothie every day of the week. I’m not a fan of milky fruit smoothies (those that use ice cream, yogurt or milk) so this coconut water concoction works well for me. I like how it’s creamy and smooth without being too rich.

Fun fact: Did you know that Madonna, Matthew McConaughey and Demi Moore liked coconut water so much they invested in the Vita Coco brand in February 2010, putting a spotlight on an emerging beverage trend that has since grown into a billion dollar category, worldwide?

Originally introduced in New York City, Vita Coco is now sold in 30 countries across the globe, including the UK, most of Europe, Japan and China.

Good things are made even better by sharing them with someone you love.

Vita Coco can now be found on sunny shores of Singapore as the ultimate natural hydrator after any physical exercise, after a long day of studies and especially under the heat and even haze. Retailing at all major supermarkets and convenience stores, you can even grab Vita Coco on your way to a movie at Golden Village! The 330ml Vita Coco Tetrapak retails at $1.90 and the 1l Vita Coco retails at $4.95. Available at all major supermarkets and convenience stores and even at Golden Village!

Vita Coco is holding an awesome contest for you to stand a chance to win a trip to Bali, and you’d be coconuts not to join!

Simply share with us the most creative ways you can think of opening a coconut & you might just win a trip to BALI all thanks to Vita Coco!

  • Grab yourself an unopened fresh coconut
  • Snap a photo of yourself trying to open it creatively
  • Post the image to a photo sharing site & describe HOW you are trying to open the coconut, along with these hashtags: #HydrateNaturally, #PoweredbyCoconuts, #VitaCocoSG
  • Contest ends 18th October

Terms and Conditions:
Blackout period applies, including eve and on public holidays, major events and school holidays
Tickets are non-refundable, non-reroutable and validity extension are not allowed
Air tickets include Tax and Fuel Surcharge only
Vita Coco will not take responsibility for any additional expenses incurred
Contestants must be 18 years old and above
Vita Coco reserves the right to vary the contest rules and regulations at any time without giving prior notice
Contest tickets are only valid for Singaporean residents or anyone that is travelling from Singapore to Bali.
Head over here for more information on Vita Coco, or follow them on their Facebook page to be updated of the latest promotions!


23 things that come with age

I turned 23 years old on September 20th, 2015.

And all I’ve been feeling ever since then, is OLD. Oh my god, how do older people deal with their age? When I was 15 years old, I always thought I’d have a stable career and be married by the time I was 25. I’m left with 2 years, and I am absolutely nowhere near that goal. It’s not even in sight. I’m approaching my mid-20′s, and I am completely freaking out. I have always felt older than my age, since I was a teenager, and it stopped being a “cool” thing after I hit the big 2-0. When you’re 22, you want time to stop.

“I can’t wait to get older!!!!” – said no one older than 20, ever. That’s the kinda dumb shit only wistful teenagers say. When you actually become an adult, you want to stay at your peak and prime forever. You don’t look forward to wrinkles, saggy breasts and eventually, menopause.

Okay, maybe I’m taking it a little too far. But assuming a lot of my blog readers would be about my age, I thought I might get a chuckle or two out of my fellow early / mid twenties people by sharing from personal experience, a post inspired by myself being the oldest, and also yet the youngest I’ve ever been…

23 things that really do come with age:

1. You need to love yourself.
You need to love yourself before you can get anything done. You need to love yourself in order to have a healthy relationship with your significant other, fruitful friendships, self esteem, a successful career, or anything good in life. You can’t blame the world for your faults. You just have to offer your best, and even when that’s not good enough for other people, it has to be good enough for you.

2. Preferring to wear sensible clothing, and lighter make up.
Less is not more when it comes to clothing. Maintain your decency and leave more to the imagination when dressing yourself, ladies. Class, not crass. Unless you’re a sexually deprived male, nobody likes cleavage being shoved in their faces. Short shorts are okay as long as your butt cheeks are not hanging out.
But less is definitely more when it comes to make up. Apart from formal events or photoshoots, I prefer wearing very light make up these days. I have no idea how I used to wake up in the morning and pile on the full works: colored contact lenses, thick plasticky fake eyelashes, foundation, thick lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, under eyelinder… wtf? Nowadays, I just put on concealer for my dark eye circles, draw my brows and some lip color so I don’t look lifeless. And false lashes if I’m feeling fancy. Keep it natural. Clean straight teeth and clear, healthy complexion is already half the battle won. Invest in skincare and braces instead of make up, which doesn’t fix anything – it only covers things up.

3. Weight gain becomes easier.
I think it gets harder to lose weight and easier to gain it as you grow older. Something to do with slowed metabolism rate and your body just not working as well as it used to. This is completely factual and not me failing my diet and conveniently blaming it on science, right? No one in their 20′s can eat like they used to when they were 15 and not grow fat. Unless you’re the rare breed of human that eats whatever they want and doesn’t gain weight, well then I have news for you: everyone hates you.

4. Getting sleepy by 12am.
I used to stay up till 3am every night without a problem. But now, no matter what time I wake up, I find myself sleepy by midnight. No wonder old people are asleep by 10pm. I try to fight it as much as possible, though. I’ll sleep whatever time I want, thank you very much. My youth is mine to own. You will not take me down. DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOODNIGHT.

5. Quieter music.
I still like my angsty bands like Blink 182, Simple Plan, Linkin Park, Yellowcard but…. my most frequently played playlist on Spotify these days is “Acoustic Covers” (which are mellower renditions of their original mixes) for day time, alongside “Deep Sleep” and “Spa Music”. What can I say? I like falling asleep to the sound of the ocean more than heavy guitar solos.

6. Intense drowsiness after a meal.
This never used to happen. But now whenever I have a meal, especially if it’s carb-laden or heavy, I get SO DROWSY after eating. It’s like, wow, I’m so tired from shoveling food into my mouth, now I need to lie down and recover from all that exertion of energy.

7. Staying home on weekends cuddled up with a movie instead of hanging out late.
16 year old me at 1am: WOOOO I LOVE STAYING OUT LATE, THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!! Let’s never go home, the night is still young!
23 year old me at 1am: Whatever it is I’m doing, there’s a very real 90% chance I’d rather be at home watching a movie while lying on my bed instead.

8. Comfort over fashion.
Sandals over heels. How did I even used to walk in those sky high stilettos and not fall to my death?
Boy shorts over thongs. Nobody sees my underwear anyway.
Do not care if my hair looks uglier tied up, the weather is too damn hot. I’ve spent my years suffering in the name sake of fashion, but I officially declare I do not give a flying fuck anymore! I’ll wear whatever looks AND feels good, not just what I think is more fashionable to be seen in.

9. Moisturizing becomes a thing.
Goodbye oily skin, hello dry skin! It used to be ARGHHH pimples. Now after a shower imma be like ARGHH I need moisturizer or my face feels so dry I’m afraid it will crack if I smile.

10. It is important to be on time.
I used to always be really late for every appointment. I regret to admit that I still do arrive late for some of my appointments in recent time, but I realize how unprofessional and irresponsible that is. It instantly leaves a bad first impression that you’ll have to make up for later on. Being early has never hurt anyone.

11. Recognizing who your real friends are becomes way easier.
Your bullshit radar becomes more accurate and effective as you get older. When you’re in school, you’re like, “who are my real friends???? T___T”. For some reason, when you’re adult, it’s so much easier to read people and know who’s full of shit and who’s sticking by you for the long run. Thus making it easier for you to prioritize your time, and remove toxic people from your life.

12. Appreciating the value of hard earned money.
Because you’ve spent the last few years working your ass off and spending your own money is not the same as spending your parents’. It hurts every time you remove dollar bills from your wallet. It also makes purchasing stuff you really want all that much satisfying, because I EARNED THAT WITH BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS DAMN IT.

13. Your peers all seem to be one step ahead of you.
The pressure to save, have a stable career and start a family, is real. I blame this on Facebook. Scrolling through your feed, you be like “WTF she got married already?! She’s like my age! When am I ever going to find someone who will love me wholeheartedly for the rest of my life?? What if I never get married?!??” or like “How do these people my age even afford buying a house and starting a family, when I’m struggling to just get by?!”.

14. Liking fast food less.
Because, holy crap that’s a lot of grease that will take me 2 hours on the treadmill to burn off, and you finally understand fast food has the same nutritional value as cardboard.

15. You require less sleep.
Even though you get sleepy earlier, you can’t sleep for 12 hours straight anymore. Remember how you used to spend your weekends just sleeping? Yeah, those days are gone. Even when you WANT to sleep, sometimes you’ll just toss and turn in bed… painfully awake.

16. But then you get tired easily, all the time.
Afternoon naps are a requirement. Can’t seem to do anything as fast or as long as I used to. Even using the computer for more than an hour is exhausting. Can’t stop yawning, too.

17. Understanding the difference between needs and wants.
We want a lot of things in life. It’s human nature to be demanding. But we don’t or can’t always get what we want. As long as we have what we need, that’s enough. Anything else on top of that is a bonus that we should be grateful for. Those unnecessary materialistic desires and childish longing for superficial validation fades away eventually, because there’s this thing called life that takes up all your time, leaving you too busy to daydream about things that don’t actually matter. If all you can think of is the next expensive designer bag you want to buy but can’t afford, you aren’t doing enough with your life.

18. Your idea of love becomes a lot more realistic.
Sure, it’ll be just superb if I find a super tall, handsome, rich, charming, loving, romantic guy that’s also a 10/10 in bed… but really, I need someone who is mentally mature, someone who will be able to meet me halfway, accept me for who I am, and treat me the way I deserve. He’s not going to be perfect, and neither am I, but what’s important is that we both try with everything that we have. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Sometimes we don’t get to choose our battles, but at least we have a say in who we fight those battles with, or for. Don’t forget that your heart is forever yours to give or keep. He does have to have a great sense of humor, though. Your life is the longest thing you will ever experience, you’ll want to be laughing throughout most of it, or it’s going to be a miserable journey. Him being good looking is a plus, but even the best looking person could have an ugly heart. Find someone who is not just kind to you, but everyone around him. If he’s wealthy, that is fantastic, but there are some people in this world who have a ton of riches and nothing else to be happy about. The acceptance of imperfections is part of loving somebody. We accept the love we think we deserve.

19. Hygiene is really important.
Daily showers and flossing are a must. My record was 5 days of not showering when I was in primary school. I didn’t discover flossing till I was about 20 and now if I don’t do it, I feel disgusting. Nothing is a bigger turn off than body odor or bad breath. I don’t even keep long nails anymore, because I’m paranoid about dirt trapped beneath them. Cleanliness is a BIG DEAL.

20. Birthdays aren’t as cool to celebrate anymore.
Every year, it becomes less and less of a hoot. All-out parties become quiet dinners with close ones. Sometimes, it’s almost embarrassing or shocking.  …You mean I’m THAT old already?

21. Periods, unfortunately, do not get better as you get older.
23 years old and every month my periods still feel like there is a tiny masochistic gnome hiding in my womb making gleeful squealing noises as he hacks away inside of me. Cue Leona Lewis’ “Keep Bleeding”.. PMS does not get better till you’re WAYYY older.

22. Water is your number one beverage.
Water isn’t tasteless. Water is the taste of life. Water tastes great. Water hydrates and fuels your body. As for chemical-laden sugary sodas, well.. they fizzed out in my list of preferences.

23. Being productive is the most gratifying feeling in the entire world.
Sleeping in till 2pm, playing games all day, shopping, movie marathons or just luxuriously lazing around are all great activities. Relishing freedom and play time has never been a problem for any of us. We’ve all learned how to play since we were kids. But learning how to enjoy doing hard work, well, that’s something else. Few things you do for leisure will feel more fulfilling than doing what you’re supposed to do. Knowing you’ve achieved the goals you’ve set for yourself gives you a sense of fulfillment and purpose that aids your growth as an adult. Surpass your own expectations. You’re 20 something now, it’s high time to get your shit together. Hard work is meant for the young, who still have the drive and energy in them. Fight, while you still can fight. Chase after your dreams. If they don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. No matter what you’re doing, whether you love or hate it, think of the bigger picture. Think about how this will affect your life in 5 years time, and if it’s worth what you’re going through.

Now is the right time to start thinking about the rest of your life.


How to Overcome Emotional Dependency

As most of you would have observed by now, I’m going through a pretty rough patch in life. Rough would be an understatement, most days it feels like I’m crawling on my knees through shattered glass just to get by. I’m 50 shades of confused, frustrated and miserable a lot of the time. I struggle with self-esteem, staying positive and finding purpose in life on a daily basis. I blamed everyone around me, including myself, and spend more time wallowing in self-pity than I’d like to admit. I didn’t understand why all of this was happening to me. I always felt like my happiness revolved around how someone else treated me, probably largely due to how my previous relationship panned out.

In a desperate bid for some clarity, while sobbing to myself on the bed in a relatively hysterical state, I googled “Being emotionally dependent on someone” just to read up some quotes on people who have gone through a similar situation, hoping they’d make some sense for me. Yes, I google everything. Recipes on how to make food, to self-diagnose myself when I’m sick, and when I need life advice..

What I did not expect was coming across this FANTASTICALLY AMAZINGLY GREAT EMPOWERING ARTICLE called “How to Overcome Emotional Dependency”. I expected generic advise that would slip away from me the second my eyes left the page, but after reading through the whole thing, I feel so grateful towards the brilliant and wonderfully empathetic author of this article for helping me regain a substantial amount of self-assurance and sanity. You know how you can listen to the advice of many, but accept none until you come across something so true and logical that you can’t possibly ignore?

Yeah, this was it for me. I feel absolutely compelled to share this article with you, in sincere hope that it will help whoever’s been feeling as shitty as I have. I hope that after reading this, you will find new direction and begin rebuilding your life, piece by piece, as I am trying to do. These are words I will refer to time and time again, over the next few months.

How to Overcome Emotional Dependency
(source: click here for the original article on

When your happiness starts to rely on any person, achievement or outcome (or a fragile combination of these) then you may discover that you’re emotionally dependent. It’s not an easy thing to face, nor is it your fault but it is a challenge which is vital to address.

It takes great courage to learn how to overcome emotional dependency but it’s worth doing so that you feel more in control of your life. Becoming gradually more independent and less attaching takes time and practice but it can be done.



When you’re struggling, it’s tempting to reach out for the wrong answers to life’s problems. These include leaning too much on people or trying to escape how you feel through self-destructive habits. It’s good to take stock of what you become when you’re dependent.

That realisation can also be useful when you’re struggling. For example, may be tempted to contact someone again just because they didn’t reply to your first message but then say “Okay, I don’t really want to be that person”. The more needy you become the more you realise:

“The secret to happiness is freedom”

It starts with embracing the concept or ideal of freedom. That doesn’t mean you can never depend on anyone at all in any situation. But it does mean making a commitment to gradually overcoming dependency and becoming more emotionally free in whatever way you can.

You might look at the path to independence as a learning experience that leads to greater peace, hope and happiness. The good news is that you’re already on that journey and will gradually be able to feel calmer and happier more often without relying on any outcome or anyone being there for you.



The ironic thing about wanting to be less “needy” is that the solution may be to recognise that your needs are actually very important and won’t go away if you neglect or ignore them. Dependency is often a result of both neglect and self-neglect of important emotional needs.

Emotionally speaking, we all need certain things such as calmness, a feeling of safety, a sense of purpose, self-acceptance and opportunities for connection. It’s good to keep your needs simple but it’s also important to do something about them and to prioritise them.

“From now on my happiness comes first”

Feeling needy is usually a sign that you need to be doing more for yourself. The path to emotional independence involves figuring out not only what you need but how to constructively help yourself. There are always many different ways to make yourself feel a little better, one step at a time.

Part of looking after your needs is regularly measuring how you feel and doing something about it. You might decide that one thing would be great for you but then it starts being stressful so you decide there’s no point forcing yourself to carry on. So it’s good to adapt to your changing needs.



People who haven’t learnt how to look after themselves emotionally are more likely to reach out for someone else to do it for them. But no matter how good someone makes you feel, it’s still a good idea to preserve and develop as much emotional self-reliance as you can.

“It’s my job to look after me”

It takes a lot of practice but eventually you will be able to take care of yourself in situations where you might normally depend on someone else. For example, if you feel lonely or stressed you could experiment with different ways of making those negative feelings dissolve.

There are many ways to make yourself feel better: calming breathing, gentle massage, consciously switching off thoughts or meditating, enjoying films or music, talking on the phone, going for a walk and so on. Make it your project to figure out and repeat what works best for you.



An important step along the road to freedom is allowing other people to be free rather than holding onto resentments about their behaviour. It may be tempting to get angry with someone who isn’t there for you during a crisis or lets you down in some way but it isn’t the solution.

Consider how many times you may have passed a homeless person in the street and not even thrown them some loose change. When you become an “emotional beggar” you’re in a similar situation. You can ask for help but there’s no point demanding it because nobody owes you anything.

“The only way to free yourself from other people is to free them from you”

Part of the solution is simply accepting that people have natural limitations when it comes to friendships, relationships, humanity and understanding. They may find it hard enough to stay positive as it is already without having to look after those who can’t seem to look after themselves.

Imagining that anyone “should” help you when they haven’t explicitly agreed to do so can come across as manipulative because it confuses your needs with their responsibility. It’s not worth testing anyone’s limits by pressuring them to be someone they may not even be capable of becoming.



It’s likely that children learn a lot about how to become emotionally independent through the simple act of playing. As as adult, there’s no need to be any different. Alone time can be seen as “playtime”, a chance to rediscover that child-like sense of authentic joy and spontaneity.

How much you enjoy your undisturbed playtime depends partly on how willing you are to improve the experience. It can become the ultimate chance to look after yourself, unwind and explore hobbies and interests. Some people even get addicted to being with themselves. As Maxwell Maltz said:

“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone”

By transforming the experience of being with yourself you can make a new friend for life. You can practice doing things just because they’re fun rather than to achieve anything. Loneliness may be little more than boredom combined with self-pity or with wanting companionship too much and too soon.

A good start is to stop resisting the fact other people aren’t around and see it as something sacred and vital to growth. It takes time to get into it but fascination, exploration and creativity are great substitutes for neediness. You could even make a list of interesting things to explore:

  • Books and articles
  • Music and music videos
  • Movies and shows
  • Comedy videos and shows
  • Games and diversions
  • Fascinating facts and info
  • Educational videos and courses
  • Creative projects

You could also become more playful in your everyday life, experimenting with retro dance moves, dramatic singing, silly voices, funny faces, crazy phrases or humorous observations. Less serious music can also create a fun atmosphere, whether it’s James Bond theme songs or Flight of the Conchords.

A hermit’s true discovery is that anyone can eventually become perfectly content on their own, far from the imperfect outside world. Realising how much you can give to yourself and remembering you are the only person you can totally depend on can free you of the much less reliable human race.



Negative mental habits are one of the main factors that cause people to run away from their own company and depend on others. Maybe you punish yourself by dwelling in the past, overthinking negatively, being impatient, insisting on perfect results or stressing yourself out in some other way.

Self-harshness is a product of trying to forcefully control things, which includes being angry with other people because it affects how you feel within your interior world. The alternative is learning to talk to yourself positively, dwell at peace with the present moment or find constructive distraction.

“I’d rather relax than control anything”

Two kinds of self-pressuring to watch out for include forceful insistence (“pushing” sensations that go with thoughts such as “I need this!” or “It must be like this!”) and fearful resistance (“pulling” sensations that go with thoughts such as “Oh no!” or “It can’t be like this!”).

We all beat ourselves up every now and then but it’s important to catch yourself in the act and let it go. You can gradually replace self-punishing behaviours with acceptance, playfulness, self-encouragement, self-calming, positive focus and positive self-talk examples of which include:

I’m willing to make the best of any situation
I’m so proud of myself for facing all these challenges
I’m willing to do the best I can to be as happy as I can be
It’s amazing what I can achieve with work and patience
I am open to all the good things that can come my way
I am learning to be stronger and more positive
I am so grateful for [whatever it may be]
Everything is going to be okay
I am a cool/nice/great person
I deserve to be happy
I love myself
I can do this
Another way to reduce self-harshness is to cultivate a sense of fun and playfulness around other people. Activities might include playing board games, card games, computer games or light sports. The key ingredient is not “playing to win” but taking everything less seriously.



A lot of neediness may stem from difficult events that happened during childhood or adolescence. Identifying these events and the way you responded to them as a child is a great way to recognise why you may have got stuck in a place of emotional dependency.

You don’t want to get lost in the past but exploring it to some extent can help you to let go of patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour that you may have formed when you had no idea how to deal with what was going on. It’s good to avoid “re-living” the same story over and over again.

“The role of the present is not to reverse the past or compensate for it”

Therapy can help. Part of the solution is learning to distinguish between present situations and past situations they may remind you of. You can also increasingly distinguish between the helpless child you once were and the self-calming, self-caring, self-approving adult you’re becoming.

You may identify certain “triggers” that make you feel helplessly attached. You can then start seeing such things as an invitation to a trap you don’t have to fall into rather than as something irresistible or impossible to ignore and which inevitably pulls you into dependency.



Emotional dependency can create overwhelming and confusing emotions. Reacting impulsively to that internal state can be very dangerous. What seems like a great idea when you’re in a “reactive” mood could turn out to be a really bad idea so it’s worth stepping back from that.

When you feel calm you can think things through carefully. But feeling needy, upset, sad, stressed, angry, manic, tired, hungry or drunk isn’t a great basis for drawing conclusions or making snap decisions. To avoid consequences you may regret, it’s good to heed the advice of Winston Churchill:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going”

When you’re in the grip of intense feelings it can seem as if they will never go away. But the truth is that they always do when you give them enough time. This is why people often remind themselves “This too shall pass” rather than doing something reckless merely to escape.

The irony is that desperately reacting to make feelings go away often escalates problems with people. Rather than becoming involved in a potentially never-ending cycle of drama, it’s often better to allow emotional “ups and downs” to run their course by avoiding the temptation to do anything rash.



You may sometimes need to confront painful emotions that you are experiencing. A lot of people push away their physical feelings rather than trying to sense them directly and this causes them to “run away” from their emotions and become dependent. The solutions include:

Expressing and embracing your vulnerable child-like self
Suspending all thinking and just resting for a while
Relaxing your body and breathing deeply to help experience emotions
Saying “Mmmm” a little while breathing out through the nose
Sensing your physical feelings and letting go of resistance to them
Focusing on staying calm even while physically feeling emotional pain
Not focusing on or creating any associated thoughts or mental images
Not suppressing, pushing away or reacting against your emotions
Not identifying with or trying to amplify or prolong emotions
Radically accepting and loving your emotions whenever you can
Seeing yourself as a survivor and recognising your strength
Confronting and dealing with feelings like this may seem like an impossible thing to do but it’s healthier than trying to ignore them, repress them or escape from them. By learning to acknowledge and physically feel any emotions you can learn to move beyond them.

It may also help to talk to other individuals who struggle through a support group for codependency, love addiction or substance abuse. People who have been through similar issues are less likely to judge you when you’re going through a hard time.



A bit of adventurous self-introspection will often help you identify patterns of dependency in your thoughts or behaviour that you can work on overcoming. An example might be having an attitude of wanting “all or nothing” from people instead of appreciating whatever is freely offered.

You may also recognise how you start thinking about what you want so that you can nip some of that dependent thinking in the bud at early stages. Spending too much time or energy focusing on what might be good for you may seem positive but it can be dangerous for one reason. As C.S. Lewis put it:

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose”

If you start attaching to anything or anyone too much you’re giving them too much importance and so you may need to give both yourself and them more distance in order to avoid becoming dependent. The sooner you realise this risk the easier it is to avoid getting into trouble.

You can even recognise and let go of neediness in your everyday thoughts. Changing your language is one way to tackle that. Instead of saying “I need to” you might start saying “I’d like to”. Instead of saying “I need this” you might say “I would quite like that”.



It’s easy to get carried away by the idea of wanting things to be a certain way. It starts with
a mild preference but then it gets twisted in the mind, going through several stages:

“That might be nice” → “That couldn’t possibly be bad for me” → “That would make me happy” → “I probably need it to be happy” → “I’m starting to feel strangely unhappy without it” → “Nothing else could make me happy” → “I could probably never be happy without it” → “I’m unhappy, that just proves how much I need it” → “I need it so much that nothing else exists anymore”

An example is meeting someone and starting to imagine that they are “the one” instead of “just one of many” and not necessarily even good for you. It’s better to avoid wanting anything too strongly. To stop yourself jumping between the steps of desire mentioned above you could say:

“That might be great but I can survive without it just fine”

It’s very dangerous to believe that something can “make me happy”. What’s really happening there is that you are making your happiness depend on it and that dependency then makes you unhappy. The more you focus on what you think “makes” you happy the more you start to depend on it.

People often try to inspire themselves by focusing on a personal goal. Focusing on what inspires you is a great idea and a goal can be part of the fun but you can still do that without making everything depend too rigidly on a particular outcome. The solution is inspiration but without “goal fixation”.



We all sometimes experience a feeling which, on a subconscious level, might be explained in terms of a child jumping up and down and screaming “I want my ice cream!” It may be that the child is spoilt or just so distressed that it genuinely seems as if ice cream is the only possible answer.

To any adult observing the scene, it is obvious that the child could be okay even without getting any ice-cream. And so it is important to observe the child within yourself and to recognise when you might be holding your own happiness to ransom by insisting on something you might not actually need.

“I am willing to try my very best to be happy in spite of X, Y and Z and even without A, B or C“

Identifying what you have recently made your happiness rely on can be an eye opener. For example, a troubling thought like “People are driving me crazy!” can be reinterpreted as “I can’t be happy unless everyone is great” which is clearly a little overdependent and unrealistic.

Another example might be “Nothing is making any sense!” which is another way of saying “I demand that everything always makes sense” and not strictly necessary for a happy life. Recognising which arbitrary conditions you keep placing on your own happiness can increasingly set your mind free.



It’s very easy to suddenly become psychologically addicted to anything, such physical intimacy, companionship or external approval. Nobody can blame themselves when this happens because they often do so without fully realising the precise role that they played in making that happen.

If you start telling yourself that you “need” something this is likely to alter your “reality”. You can persuade yourself of anything but it’s good to take responsibility for doing so. When you depend on something, your mind creates a system of self-reward and self-punishment around it.

“I did this to myself”

For example, I could keep telling myself over and over again that I “need” to see a black cat run across the street. If I genuinely start believing that and hoping for it then this will affect my emotions. When I finally see a black cat run across the street I may even feel blissful.

I could say that the black cat “makes” me happy but it’s not really true. I made my happiness depend on it by strongly persuading myself it was what I needed. I rewarded myself with happiness at seeing the black cat and punished myself with disappointment if I didn’t see it.



The more we idealise what we want, the the deeper we sink into the quicksand of desire. The more you imagine anything to be perfect or put anyone on a pedestal the more you are setting yourself up for a disappointment. What seems like the Holy Grail can sometimes turn out to be a poisoned chalice.

Worshipping anyone as if they are some kind of “saviour” figure is particularly dangerous. Imagining that someone has a magical ability to make you whole is really a way of persuading yourself that something is wrong, that there’s something you can’t live without or that you can’t be okay.

“Nothing is ever quite what it’s cracked up to be”

It may seem like idealising someone is a great compliment but you’re not doing yourself or them any favours. Sliding into dependency will make you feel like a stalker the moment they change their minds about having you around. Focusing on their flaws for a while can help offset such over-attachment.

Idealisation is a form of escape from life. Rather than coping with reality, we create a fantasy in which we can lose ourselves. It’s easy to become addicted to a fantasy but it’s inevitably disappointing. Anyone we worship in our imagination can be boring once we get used to what they’re really like.



Some people believe that they can’t love themselves unless someone loves them or that they don’t exist unless someone acknowledges them or approves of their existence. They mistakenly assume that their survival depends on being attached to someone on whom they have to depend.

Imagining that you can’t live without someone or something only gives them power over you. You may subconsciously think that being denied what you want would cause you to fall apart but it’s an illusion that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy only when you start strongly believing it:

“Everything is going to be okay”

As long as you’re determined not to abandon yourself then you never have to fear anyone else’s absence. You may sometimes go through a hard time but you also have the ability to get through it, comfort yourself, soothe your distress, learn positive lessons and come out stronger.

You might even visualise yourself without having what you want but as a strong and self-caring person with high self-esteem. If you feel dependent on someone who is also dependent on you then it may also help to visualise them being okay so that you can both detach a little.



Independence doesn’t always have to mean that “happiness comes from within”. It’s okay to have a few people and activities that inspire your happiness. In fact, working on having a few stable interests and buddies in your life is very much part of the solution to becoming more independent.

Even if nothing seems wildly exciting to begin with, there’s something very healthy about gradually building up different sources of contentment rather than single-mindedly chasing one particular goal or short term “fix”. It also means heeding the following advice:

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

When there are a few things to focus on then it doesn’t have to be devastating if one area doesn’t work out for any reason. Without complicating your life too much, you can make it interesting in a number of different ways rather than having one or two outcomes on which you strongly depend.

It’s never too late to develop new hobbies, passions and friendships but it’s also worth remembering that sometimes you may need to put a sustained effort into these areas before you can expect to get anything out of them. In the long term they can become very rewarding and fulfilling.



It’s not usually worth needing anything from the wrong people or situations. You may sometimes find yourself “barking up the wrong tree” but sometimes the solution is to figure out what it is that you need and to accept that it doesn’t have to come from that particular source.

When you start being a bit clingy ask yourself what it is about a person, situation or outcome that you like so much. This allows you to figure out how to substitute that by looking for it elsewhere rather than seeing them as having some kind of monopoly on that benefit.

“Nothing is irreplaceable”

For example, if you love how much someone empathises with you then you could look out for a few more people like that and learn to do it for yourself and others. Any need can be met in a variety of different ways so learn to identify what you want and patiently go after it in more than one form.

A relationship breakup is one of the hardest challenges and similar to overcoming drug addiction. As in “rehab”, the most effective approach is “cold turkey”, giving up all contact with the other person, starting a whole new chapter in life and remembering that time eventually heals all.



When you’re emotionally dependent, you’re more likely to have unrealistic and slightly intense notions about what you can expect from others. This may be driven by a naive idealism about what friendships, romantic relationships and other arrangements are “supposed” to be like. It’s easy to:

Confuse mere friendliness with friendship
Confuse a casual friendship with unceasing loyalty or availability
Confuse being attracted to someone with them being right for you
Confuse romantic curiosity with serious romantic interest
Confuse a romance or relationship with unconditional love
Confuse any cool experience with the start of something greater
Confuse doing someone a favour with them having to do something for you
For example, you may think friendship must always be “true” and involve “being there for each other” in hard times or always being genuine or kind. You may think that a partner should love you forever, can never turn their back on you or must forgive you just because you’re sorry.

Needing more from people than they feel ready or able to give just isn’t realistic and it can also make you appear unreasonable. Even in a crisis, it is pointless to push on someone to do something for you just because you would be willing to do the same for them: no obligation strictly exists.

“A bond can be beautiful even when it’s temporary and limited in scope”

Everyone is good for some things and useless at other things. Some people will be great at empathising with you or boosting your confidence. Other people will be useless at that but they might be a hilarious travel companion or the perfect partner for a new hobby. Nobody can be all of these things.

There’s nothing wrong with “fair weather friends” as long as you remember what you can’t expect. Nobody can be a substitute parent and their idea about how everything works may be much more casual. Many friendships are about occasionally amusing each other and nothing deeper.



Disappointment is a common human experience but a good way to recover from it is to look at what you expected in terms of virtues that aren’t possible for everyone, given their natural weaknesses and limitations. Instead of accusing anyone of a moral crime, a better conclusion might be:

“They’re only human, they have lots of good points but x is clearly not their forte”

For example, if someone lets you down when you feel sad then you might be tempted to think “What a bad person!” A better way to look at it might be: “They have many good points and sometimes they are kind – just not in an unlimited way or in every situation. I can work around that”.

If empathy, humanity or some other virtue does not always come naturally to a person then needing it when they simply don’t have it in them involves demanding something that is in a sense “supernatural” for them. It’s unrealistic to insist that anyone should rise above their limited nature.



The power of focus is what can get you both into trouble and also out of trouble. A good way to prevent yourself from becoming too attached to anyone or anything is to practice switching your focus regularly or asking “What am I going to focus on?” so that it never becomes too narrow or selective.

A good way to ween yourself off anything that starts becoming addictive is to throw yourself into some other area of life that can keep your focus balanced. If you’re willing to find something inspiring enough to totally distract you then you probably will succeed.

“Maybe it’s time to spread my wings”

It may help to consciously stop yourself from focusing on, thinking about or visualising whatever you need to depend on less. You may need to give up bad habits such as compulsively checking phone messages and remove reminders such as photos, social media and so on.

If you never focus on something it can’t control you emotionally. You don’t want your life to be about one person, situation, goal or outcome. A good way to change that is to decide what you should be focusing on less and what you should be focusing on more and proactively making that happen.



Outcome-independence may well be the essence of freedom. You can develop a more independent frame of mind if you practice imagining the main outcomes a situation could have and then embrace each of those scenarios by looking at them as positively as you can.

“Whatever happens could be a good thing in some ways. It may even be for the best”

The funny thing about life is that you never really know what’s good for you. Sometimes you need a “bad” experience in order to learn the amazing lessons that will result in becoming a much happier and more independent person in the long term.

As Oscar Wilde put it, “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it”. Sometimes we get exactly what we want and it is a disaster. But when we don’t get what we want, we often forget that it might not have resulted in a fairytale ending.



Putting any kind of forceful pressure on others to meet your needs can ruin good situations or make bad things worse. You can often avoid such consequences simply by making it a rule to outwardly behave in much the same way as someone who has complete emotional independence.

No matter how you feel, you can make an agreement with yourself to communicate in a way that allows people to relax and feel totally free. By doing so you are refusing to let any personal feelings or difficulties get in the way of things going smoothly and you are also following a simple rule:

“Go with the flow”

A good way to take things slowly with people is to imagine what it might be like if you were already way too busy or had too many friends. You are less likely to “come on too strong” or need “too much too soon” when behaving as if you already have everything you need from life.

Playing the role of someone who “has it all” can help you avoid giving anyone a sense of being inappropriately pushed or relied upon. You can “fake it till you make it”, using the appearance of totally casual behaviour to allow people take things at their own natural and often gradual pace.



It takes time and practice to become more independent. Part of it is improving what you can do for yourself and part of it is having the patience to wait for some things in life to fall into place rather than depending on the next person or outcome that might be good for you.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”

There is often a risk that people will feel punished just because they aren’t the kind of person you’re hoping to meet one day. So rather than trying to change anyone it’s better to be patient, diplomatic, to accept that “everyone has their uses” and to look out for people who are good for you.

It’s okay to struggle and to make mistakes. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make is setting yourself some artificial deadline such as “I should already have what I wanted by now”. Some people don’t end up with anything they wanted but discover a far greater happiness later on.

“If you continuously compete with others, you become bitter.
But if you continuously compete with yourself you become better”

Everything will get better if you’re willing to slowly but surely build a simple, good life with a flexible attitude towards contentment. As long as you never want too much there will always be enough time for everything you want. Above all, it’s never too late to start feeling joyful.



Nobody is entirely independent and even people who seem very “strong” are not as free as they imagine. Their sense of emotional well-being often relies on what’s going on in their lives and on knowing that someone who cares about them is a phone call away should they ever need help.

But it is possible to learn how to overcome emotional dependency, at least enough to feel much better. At some point, even when things aren’t going very well, you’ll be able to say “I’m happy not really because of what’s going on but in spite of it”. Developing that attitude takes time and practice.

The answer is a combination of greater emotional self-regulation, self-encouragement and a willingness to broaden your horizons while prioritising your happiness.

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