Human beings are meant to work together, not to go it alone. We enter the world reliant on others for shelter, nutrition, and emotional support, and these core requirements to do not change as we grow older. Yet somehow, as we move into adulthood, our intrinsic need for emotional connection (i.e., love) gets discounted. This despite the fact that people who spend their lives “apart from” rather than “a part of” do not function as well as those who feel emotionally connected.
Prodependence turns this thinking around. Rather than preaching detachment and distance over continued bonding and assistance, as so many therapists, self-help books, and 12-step groups currently do, prodependence celebrates our shared human need for the pursuit and maintenance of intimate connection, viewing this as a positive force for change. Simply stated, prodependence occurs when loving relationships are mutually beneficial—with one person’s strengths filling in the weak points of the other, and vice versa, even during times of crisis when the needs of one person may for a time far exceed the needs of the other.