How To Know If You’re Their ‘Emotional Support Human’ — Or If They Actually Love You

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Every relationship is as rewarding as it is challenging, especially romantic relationships. We support each other, encourage each other and carry each other through the dark times — but we also mirror and trigger each other, bringing up the parts of ourselves that we did not know existed.

Human relationships are never a perfect fairy tale. But they aren't rescue missions, either.

Have you found yourself trying to be a rescue nurse, rather than someone in a stable relationship based on equal amounts of giving and take? If this doesn't sound like a recipe for a healthy relationship, that's because it isn't.

One may consider you an "emotional support human" — as if you are more of a pet than a partner.

How can you tell that someone you love isn’t looking for a relationship, but is looking for help and healing instead?

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Signs someone is looking for emotional support — not a relationship

1. They haven’t said anything about wanting to be in a relationship.

I have sometimes caught myself trusting my projections and wishes for a certain outcome to be reality. If I am happy and joyful, I see happy people everywhere. If I am suspicious, I somehow imagine everyone else to be out to get me. I see others the way I want to see them. And that is not always the way they really are.

The first question to ask when a relationship does not seem to go the way we want it to, is — have they said they wanted to be in a relationship? Have they clearly expressed it?

Because I work in the field of energy clearing and spiritual healing, people often come to me with questions about karmic relationships, soul contracts, past lives, and so on.

But sometimes the issues we are dealing with have nothing to do with karmic lessons, soul contracts, or any other stories our mind begins to weave when it refuses to see the truth. Perhaps the other party simply doesn’t want to, and never wanted to be in a committed relationship. And it has nothing to do with you.

They are with you and not leaving because they are comfortable with the way things are. Perhaps they appreciate your company, or they enjoy the intimacy. You make them feel happy, secure or provided for. They may even be willing to put up with the inconvenience of making a commitment to a relationship — as long as you give them what they want — help. Whatever form it may take.

But they never said they wanted to be in a relationship. They simply do not have the capacity for a partnership, the give and take dance of two equals, where one complements the other.

They just like their companion, hence the modern colloquialism of "emotional support human". 

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2. They clearly need help.

Does the person you love need help? Are they struggling with an addiction? Are they depressed, consumed with grief, unable to express their emotions, or stuck in some other dysfunctional pattern?

Do you feel like you are the only one who can help them?

Sometimes the truth is simple and banal. They clearly say that they want help.

Granted, maybe they charm you a little bit extra to make sure they get it. And if you retrace the steps, the fantasy of a relationship was entirely your creation.

You were the one who thought they would recover, see the light, and realize their mistakes. That somehow, they will become a perfect version of themselves. And when they do, they will love you for who you are.

You may have bought into an old fairy tale that your love could somehow save them. Or you may have been replaying an old scenario from your own childhood, trying again to “save” an abusive parent, an alcoholic father, an absent mother, or a mentally ill sister.

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3. They don’t tell you what they are looking for.

It’s as if they just stumble into this relationship. Maybe that’s how they feel — that no one else is going to take them.

Or maybe they are just allowing you to love them because the alternative — being alone — is much worse. Regardless of what their motivations may be, they have not made a conscious choice to be in a relationship. They are just drifting, taking every day as it comes.

Their reason for staying in a relationship with you may be very simple — it’s the best alternative in their current situation. But the more you try to help them, the more you pull, tug, and try — the more they pull away.

Truth is, you are not giving them any real opportunity to choose, you are just dragging them along, only postponing the inevitable. And the truth is unless they want to work on themselves, you cannot help them. Your love cannot magically create change.

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4. They are not interested in making long-term plans.

In my own life, I too had a couple of relationships that never were. Most of the “relationship” was in my head, and the reality was that the guy just wanted me as an emotional support buddy.

Sure, they cared for and respected me in their own way. One of them even lived with me for over a year. But one thing that struck me with both of those guys was how careful they were to avoid making any long-term plans.

They don’t want you to meet their family or friends. They don’t make plans for Christmas or holidays. You are not a part of their future, and maybe not even a part of their inner circle.

You are helping them, but you are not a part of their life in a deeper sense. Because they need you for things other than a relationship. They just need help.

They don’t share much with you. If you start asking questions, maybe you manage to pull some details out of them, but as a rule, they prefer to keep their world to themselves.

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Why did this happen to me?

You fell in love with someone who does not want a relationship. Why?

I believe that often, we seek to heal our childhood wounds through romantic relationships. The way our subconscious works, we keep recreating the same trauma until we are strong enough to heal it. We fall for the same scenario over and over again because it feels like home.

We come home to pain that is all too familiar.

And if you are in love with someone who cannot love you back, who seeks help rather than a relationship, it is not because you are unlovable or you have to try harder. It may be that the very foundation you are building your relationship on is based on old, unhealed pain.

Building your relationships on saving, caring, and giving, until you are fed up and have had enough is an indicator of trying to resolve a wound within you. In basic terms, it is a recipe for disaster.

Trying to help others is not bad or wrong. But your brain has activated a mechanism that is much stronger than simply goodwill. By falling in love, you have many more chances to get to the root of your own pain, to find what is being reflected in you.

You have a much better chance to heal. And your body, mind, and soul will keep pushing you towards healing.

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Inga Nielsen is an intuitive healer, energy worker, and Akashic record reader whose mission is to empower clients to start living from their souls, opening their hearts, rejoicing in their creativity, and following their bliss.