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31 Ideas for Winter Nails to Do at Home or in the Salon

A pointy purple amethyst manicure a clear manicure with metallic cuticle pieces and a black manicure with crocodile patternCourtesy of Instagram

If we're being honest, we've been thinking about winter nails since spring. There are just so many great nail trends out there that we could easily fill an entire calendar. And with 2021 almost behind us (insert huge sigh of relief here) and a new season nigh, we thought: Why not celebrate by sharing some of our favorite winter nail designs? After all, whether you've made a safe, triumphant return to your favorite nail tech's station at the salon or you're continuing to do our own manicures — we'd bet you've gotten really good at them — Instagram has offered endless creative inspiration for end-of-year looks.

Luckily, nail artists have been pumping out awe-inspiring nail looks like it's no big deal (talent like this totally is, though), and we've been keeping tabs on all of the ones we want to try come wintertime. Ahead, you'll find a diverse array of designs for every kind of aesthetic taste. There are festive jewel-toned creations, new and exciting ways to wear sparkle, astrology-themed art, ombré, and much more. (Plus, some insight and product suggestions from the creators themselves.)

Now, without further ado: All the winter nail inspiration you need to get you through the season.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

1. Martini Mani

An olive green manicure with dark red dotsInstagram/@betina_goldstein

Betina Goldstein proves that nail art needn't be literal. Even without a martini glass painstakingly painted on each nail, it's obvious that this manicure is inspired by the pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives that traditionally garnish the gin-and-vermouth cocktail — something we wouldn't mind sipping by the fireplace this winter. With its solid base and simple circles, it's chic and easy art that can be done at home, and on any length nail.

2. Amethyst Nails

A long pointy purple amethystinspired manicureInstagram/

Amethyst is easily one of the most beloved winter birthstones, but you don't have to be born in February to admire its beauty — or want to interpret it as winter nail art. Welsh nail artist Grace Andrew created this gemstone look by mixing several Ugly Duckling gel colors together for a variegated effect, topped off by organic-looking lines swiped on with a skinny nail brush.

3. Tapered Curves

a beige manicure with black curvesInstagram/@paintboxnails

This abstract idea is so simple yet so chic for a winter manicure. A rich beige polish makes for a classic base, but black tapered curves — some sprouting from the tips and some from the cuticles — add a cute yet boldly contrasting element. Although created by a nail artist at Paintbox in New York City, a steady hand and two polishes are all you need to recreate this yourself at home. Feel free to mix up the color combination.

4. Galaxy Nails

A manicure with a galaxylike effectInstagram/@talons_tarot

Galaxy nails have been trending for quite some time, and it's easy to see why. How stunning is this magical manicure? With the right magnetic, iridescent polish in a deep, dark color — nail artist India Jade used Pure Nails Halo Gel Polish in Luna, but KBShimmer makes a number of non-gel magnetic polishes — you can easily recreate a gorgeous, wintry night sky on your fingertips.

5. Monochromatic Crocodile Nails

Black crocodile pattern nailsInstagram/@ghost.nails

Nail artist Zoe created an animal-scale texture illusion by adding a pattern of wavy blocks of glossy polish atop a matte base. With black for both finishes, the look is remarkably versatile, leaving the boldness up to the long, pointy shape. And darker shades are always a welcome pick for winter manicures.

6. Jewel-Tone Splatters

Teal manicure with pink and gold foil piecesInstagram/@nail_datewithalma

Festive winter nails don't have to come in traditional holiday colors. Jewel tones always look amazing in the wintertime, and on a manicure, a blend of several is even more special. Here, nail artist Alma used Dip Hustle Co's Teal Armor dip — a gorgeous green base with yellow and rose gold foil pieces — to create an elegant splattered effect. And here's a fun way to take advantage of winter's longer nights: This particular polish glows in the dark.

7. Black & White Squiggles

White nails with black squiggles and black nails with white squigglesInstagram/@talons_tarot

While an expert nail artist like India Jade may have an especially easy time created this high-contrast manicure, it's not a difficult project for at-home amateurs either. Cute on all nail lengths, this look requires only a black polish, white polish, skinny nail brush, topcoat, and a desire to doodle on your nails. No need to try to copy this exactly — there's no wrong way to draw on the curvy lines, and any color combination you love besides black and white will look lovely, too.

8. Icy Cuticles

A clear manicure with silver pieces along the cuticleInstagram/@betina_goldstein

You may avoid ice when you're walking or driving during the coldest months of the year, but an icy effect on the nails is a winter-wonderful idea for a manicure. Betina Goldstein keeps it simple but still summons the glam with this creation, keeping the base clear and glossy. The stand-out detail of this nail art is the silver pieces along the cuticles — Goldstein tells Allure she used crushed metallic pieces from the craft store — extending halfway up the sides of the nails. It's giving benevolent ice queen, don't you think?

9. Twinkling Tiger Stripes

Tiger stripe manicure in magenta and purple colorsInstagram/@claudia.cndea

How do you make a tiger-stripe manicure even more fierce? Try deep, winter-perfect, sparkling shades of purple instead of the usual orange and black. Nail artist Claudia created this moody take on an animal print by using CND's Dark Dahlia and Drama Queen shades — a midnight purple and shimmering magenta, respectively — for the two-tone stripes. It's moody yet party-ready — and isn't that the default winter vibe?

10. Black & Bright

Image may contain Wristwatch Human and Person

Winter doesn't have to mean switching from bright colors to dark ones. You can embrace both with a French moon manicure like this one by Goldstein. She used Chanel's Boy De Chanel Colour in Black as the base on every nail and switched it up on the tips and moons of each one with Le Vernis Nail Colours in Harmony, Melody, Cruise, Arancio Vibrante, Egéríe, and Mirage. It's a combination that lets you hold onto the vibrant shades you love while incorporating the moody darkness so often seen in winter nail looks.

11. Champagne Sparkle Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure Nail Jewelry Accessories Ring and AccessoryCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishiea

"I love combining different glitter polishes for the perfect winter wonderland look," Canishiea Robinson tells Allure of this sparkly two-toned manicure. To get this look at home, you'll need two glitter nail polishes (Essie's Summit of Style and Zoya's Magical Pixie Dust will do the trick) and mini faux pearl appliques, which you can find at just about any craft store, as well as on Amazon. This set features ones with flat bottoms so they're easier to apply.

12. Gold Foil Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure Nail and SkinCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishiea

This green and gold manicure by Robinson looks straight out of an art museum — and that's exactly the vibe she was going for. "Negative space, color blocking, and watercolor designs are so eye-catching," she says. "These combined with a translucent background and gold foil make all the elements shine." Believe it or not, you can score both gold and silver foil on Amazon for as little as $5. 

To achieve the watercolor effect shown here on the mustard nails, simply dip a small sponge in a tiny amount of polish and dab it on lightly. Then finish off with a glossy topcoat (like this one) and your foil.

13. Modern Candy Cane Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishiea

"I love a deep rich burgundy paired with color blocking and line work," says Robinson in regards to her inspiration for this look. "Together they create the perfect winter manicure." This abstract, geometric style design is a great go-to for beginners because it really only requires some basic painting and a little line work. So long as you have a deep red, pearlescent white, and true black polish on hand — as well as a toothpick for doing the thin stripes — you'll be good to go.

14. Scorpio Szn Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

Los Angeles-based nail artist Nia Ho is the brains behind this brilliant astrology-inspired look, which features cosmic details and subtle touches of sparkle. "For this Scorpio nail look, I used mostly black color on every nail, as well as some holographic black and silver glitter," Ho tells Allure. "I also hand-drew the little stars with white nail polish and used chunky glitter to create the galaxy sky."

You can definitely make this Scorpio-themed manicure your own by switching up the designs. That being said, you'll want to have some black and white polish on hand, along with both fine and chunky glitter options, too. It also couldn't hurt to get a stencil or a sticker (such as this one) for the scorpion itself.

15. Multicolored Marble Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and Nail

Ho calls this magical multicolored manicure her "freestyle marble look," and well, it's definitely a fitting name. "I first applied a teal base color on the whole nail and then added white and black to create a marble effect," she says of her process. "Then I cured them in LED light and applied a teal jelly polish on top. Lastly, I tapped a little gold foil on each nail to finish it." Don't have a perfect teal polish in your collection yet? We recommend Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel Nail Polish in Combustealble (a true blue-green teal hue with minimal shimmer).

16. Gold Sparkle Striped Nails

Image may contain Human Person Jewelry Accessories Accessory Ring Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

This stunning style is another one that's ideal for folks who are new to nail art. It doesn't require much legwork or that you know any tricky techniques, so it's inherently less intimidating than some of the other manicures on this list. 

"For this look, you can use a clear or sheer natural color for the base — then use white and black nail polish to create your shapes before adding the thin gold lines," explains Ho. "Getting the gold line as straight as possible is the most important aspect because the black and white parts underneath will be covered by the gold, so it ultimately doesn’t matter if they're not perfect," she says.

17. Gilded Dipped Nails

Image may contain Finger Human Person and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nail_unistella

This ultra-glamorous red and gold manicure comes courtesy of nail-art queen Park Eunkyung Unistella, who's famous for her dreamy, out-of-this-world designs. To achieve a similar look at home, apply a pair of glossy red press-ons and then paint the tips with an opaque gold polish, like Essie's Good As Gold or Nabi's Mirror Effect Nail Polish in Gold. Oh, as for those gorgeous gold decals? You can score them on

18. Snow Day Nails

Image may contain Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@nail_unistella

To recreate Unistella's epic snowflake manicure, you'll want to get yourself a set of clear acrylic nails (the shape is of course up to you), some glue that dries translucent, and, most importantly, fake snow, like the kind in this packet, which can be used for all kinds of arts and crafts. Once you've got your supplies on deck, apply a little glue to each acrylic and wait for it to get tacky — then sprinkle some of the faux snow onto each nail and play with it until you're happy with the finished look.

19. Evergreen Dream Nails

Image may contain Manicure Nail Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@ginaedwards_

Another amazing idea for those new to the nail-art world is this shimmery emerald manicure by celebrity nail artist Gina Edwards. "A quick tip for achieving strong lines when doing your nails like this is to use Scotch Tape," she tells Allure. For this particular look, Edwards used the Sinful Colors Shine Gel Tech Polish in Magic Dragon, though any shimmery dark green shade will work just the same.

20. Maroon Marble Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@cgoldnglam

"This dusty plum shade is a great transition color if you're afraid of going too dark with your winter nails," says Houston-based nail artist Cecily Ellis, who runs the account @cgoldnglam on Instagram. Her advice for recreating this look? "The accent nails can be done by using a nail art brush to create the marble lines, and the beauty of marble is that there's no perfect way of doing it." 

Product-wise, Winstonia's Super Fine Nail Art Brush is a solid and inexpensive option. And as for the dusty plum polish, this one by Tammy Taylor Nails is beautiful, as is OPI's Malaga Wine.

21. Winter Pink Ombré Nails

Image may contain Food Hot Dog Manicure Nail and HandCourtesy of Instagram/@cgoldnglam

"This french ombré design is a great way to maintain a classic look but still be on-trend," says Ellis, who adds that the best way to get a super seamless ombré finish like this is to use a makeup sponge with white polish. "Doing a glam accent nail using gold glitter or flakes is also a great way to take it up a notch during the holiday season."

22. Heavy Metal Ombré Nails

Image may contain Human Person Hook and ClawCourtesy of Instagram/@ginaedwards_

Don't be fooled: This edgy metallic manicure is less complex than it looks. In fact, it can easily be recreated at home with any neutral shimmery shades in your collection. "Use a fan makeup brush to lightly metallic glitter onto the tips of your nails for an extra special effect," says Ellis, who adds: "My inspiration for this set was NYE — there's nothing better than a little sparkle to help bring in the new year, especially on your fingertips."

23. Leopard Print Nails

Image may contain Human Person Food and Hot DogCourtesy of Instagram/@cgoldnglam

Who says animal print isn't winter-appropriate? No one, that's who. So why not wear the fun style on your nails this season? For this look specifically, Ellis used a true holiday-red polish, little gold studs, and gold leaf to top the accent nails for a super-glam feel. 

24. Next-Level Red Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbycanishie

For this festive negative space look by Robinson, you'll need your favorite shimmery red nail polish, a gold shade of your choosing — and of course, a dotting tool (like this one), as this will help you get a really precise finish. In terms of execution, simply paint each nail red, starting just slightly away from the nail bed, and then add a gold dot in the space between your cuticle and the polish.

25. Golden Eye Nails

Image may contain Manicure Nail Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

Another foolproof winter nail look to try is this unique gilded take on the French manicure by Ho. In addition to gold, black, blue, and white polishes, you'll also need a fine line brush to create the eye on the accent nail. You can also use tape for the tips to ensure they come out looking extra clean and polished.

26. Animal Print-Tipped Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nails_and_soul

This animal print design done by Ho is yet another fun twist on the classic French manicure, and it's surprisingly easy to execute. A few items you'll want to have on hand include black, clear, and terracotta-toned polishes, a sponge to get the subtle marbling effect on the tips, and an ultra-shiny topcoat, like CND's Super Shiny High-Gloss Topcoat. To get this look, paint your nails with a light pink or ivory nail polish, and then use your beauty sponge to blend the black and brown shades together for the marble finish. You can also use a toothpick to swirl the colors together until you're happy with how it looks. Then apply a topcoat to add extra shine and longevity.

27. Blue and Gold Holographic Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@sweetandsavynails

This dazzling holographic design by nail artist Savannah Walker is perfect for beginners and experts alike who prefer a shorter nail look. Start off by applying a clear base coat and then create the blue triangle designs on each digit using an aqua-colored polish (this one), that's also holographic. Then simply outline each triangle in gold using a fine line brush — that, or a toothpick will also do the trick. Finish with a shiny topcoat to seal everything in place and prevent chipping.

28. Glam Nude Nails

Image may contain Manicure Nail Human and PersonCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbysophiaf

This gorgeous look created by Flordia-based artist Sophia Fraccalvieri is proof that nude nails do not have to be basic or boring. All you need is an opaque, beige-colored polish and holographic nail decals (such as these or these).

29. Black French Tipped Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@sweetandsavynails

Walker created this sophisticated manicure with a pearlescent base coat and creamy jet-black polish — indeed, it's that simple. Of course, you'll probably want to use a stencil or fine line brush when doing the tips, but so long as you have a steady hand, you should be just fine.

30. Artsy Pine Tree Nails

Image may contain Human Person Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@nailsbysophiaf

How freaking cool is this abstract pine tree design by Fraccalvieri? She calls the look "art ink trees" and created it using products from Bio Seaweed Gel USA and Magpie Beauty. Depending on your artistic abilities, you could do this with a sponge, a stencil, or even freehand if you dare.

31. Silver Drip Nails

Image may contain Human Person Skin Manicure and NailCourtesy of Instagram/@chalkboardnails

A great way to take the drip nail-art trend into winter is by using metallic colors, like nail artist Sarah Thompson did here, as sparkle and glitter are often associated with wintertime, the holidays, and snow. A few silver polishes we adore are Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear in Silver Storm, Color Club's Halographic Hues Nail Polish in Harp On It, and OPI's Infinite Shine in The Latest. As for how to create the drip design, your best bet is to use a tiny detail brush — or a stencil like this one from Amazon.

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Ranking the Best Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamers

As far as coffee flavors go, pumpkin spice earns the top spot for the most polarizing. Some have never hopped on the bandwagon, others were on it only to realize it wasn’t as great as the world made it seem, and then there are those of us who fall asleep at night dreaming about the pumpkin spice coffee they’re going to have in the morning—this is for those who fall into the latter.

You can call it basic or lame or even disgusting, but pumpkin spice coffee in the fall is one of the true unmitigated joys of this lifetime, and thanks to the caffeine gods, you no longer have to pay $6 at Starbucks to get the PSL taste in your coffee. Just about every company that makes creamer comes out with a pumpkin spice version for the fall, so I set out to do the impossible: decide which one is the absolute best.

You should enjoy every fall morning and every last drop of your pumpkin-spiced goodness without needing to weed through the nasty creamers first. I tried every single pumpkin spice creamer I could get my hands on (from four different grocery stores, mind you)—here they are, ranked worst to best.


#5: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice

For obvious reasons, every year, this is the pumpkin spice creamer that calls my name. But every year, I refuse to learn, so I buy it and am disappointed by it. Sweetness doesn’t bother me (and I like my coffee quite sweet), but to me, this gives me all sweetness with minimal pumpkin. It tastes like what I imagine turns a lot of people off from pumpkin spice, as it tastes overbearing to me in a way that makes me want to opt for a caffeine headache instead of finishing my drink. Every time I put this in my coffee, I noticed I was throwing half down the drain, which tells you all I need to know.

Rating: 2/5


#4: Natural Bliss Pumpkin Spice 

Of all of the plant milks, I definitely prefer oat the most in my coffee, so I really expected to love this, but alas, it was extremely disappointing. If you’ve ever had Dunkin’s pumpkin spice, this tastes really similar, but with a weirder aftertaste. If you want a non-dairy option, hold out for #3.

Rating: 2/5


#3: Starbucks Non-Dairy Almond & Oat Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte

This one is a mouthful and is doing the absolute most, but it’s much better than its dairy-derived sibling, which is saying a lot considering I usually prefer dairy-based creamers. 

I generally find almond milk creamers to be watery and never give what I need, but this creamer is very good. It has a hint of an oat milk taste (which I like) and overall feels less overpowering. If you want a non-dairy option, this is definitely your best bet, and if you’re choosing between this one and the classic version, choose this one. 

Rating: 3.5/5


#2: International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer

I am not a creamer elitist, which means that I am not averse to a good ole’ splash of an International Delight creamer in my coffee. This was the dark horse of the group that I didn’t expect much from, but the more I tasted it, the more I liked it. This was tied as my most-reached-for of the bunch, which was a huge test given the entire shelf of pumpkin spice creamers I have now had in my fridge for over a week.

This is everything I want a pumpkin spice creamer to be: It isn’t too spicy or too sweet, it’s right in the middle, and never feels overbearing like the Starbucks one was. It adds a lovely hint of fall flavor that keeps my coffee still tasting like coffee but with a splash of pumpkin. 

Rating: 4/5


#1: Chobani Pumpkin Spice

A few weeks ago, my fellow editor Beth told me that this was the best pumpkin creamer she’d ever had, and after testing it for a few weeks, I knew this was the one to beat.

Out of all of the creamers I tried, this one tastes the most like a real pumpkin drink you’d pay for at a coffee shop. It doesn’t have any of the weird aftertaste or spiciness—it is simply perfect. It turns my homemade Americano into one that I can trick myself into thinking I paid $6 for—and honestly, I might even prefer it to actually getting a pumpkin drink at Starbucks.

Rating: 5/5


Bonus: Silk Maple Brown Sugar Oat Creamer

This one doesn’t get to be a part of the official ranking, but since it’s still a fall creamer, I knew I needed to try it. Honestly, this is one of the best creamers I have ever tried. If you’re familiar, it tastes almost identical to the Starbucks Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso but encapsulated in a perfect, non-dairy creamer that you only need a splash of. If you find this, definitely pick it up.

Rating: 5/5


We Tried All of The Starbucks Fall Drinks—Here They Are, Ranked


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Is It Codependency or Just Regular Emotional Needs?

Source: @lifew.erin

I have to admit: I’m often pretty codependent in my relationships. Sometimes I’ll decide to not speak up about something because I’m afraid it might push my partner away, or I’ll jump to the worst-case scenario when I don’t hear from them. I’ve even had my fair share of needing constant reassurance and feeling really insecure if there’s a moment I don’t get it. It’s something I’m actively working on, but it’s easy for me to slip into these codependency patterns, especially in seasons where I feel more anxious or am struggling with self-confidence. 

While I have gotten better, I still sometimes have a hard time identifying if certain reactions and feelings are from a place of codependency or if they’re just regular emotional needs. And I know I’m not the only one who faces this question—codependency has become more and more popular over the years as mental health has become a key part of relationships. However, the term has been misused so often that it can be hard to tell if we’re really struggling with codependency or if we’re just expressing needs we expect to be met. So what is codependency, how do you know if you or your partner are dealing with it, and what do you do if you are? Read on to find out the healthiest way to get your needs met.


In this article

What is codependency?

What’s the difference between codependency and having healthy emotional needs?

So how much should you depend on a romantic partner?

Struggling with codependency? Here’s what to do next:


What is codependency?

As Vicki Botnick, a marriage and family therapist, explained to Psych Central, codependency can be defined as “any enmeshed relationship in which one person loses their sense of independence and believes they need to tend to someone else.” While codependency may sound similar to selflessness, it’s more of an unhealthy willingness to give yourself up to keep someone else. Joaquín Selva, Bc.S., explained to Positive Psychology that codependency is “a specific relationship addiction characterized by preoccupation and extreme dependence—emotional, social and sometimes physical—on another person.”

Research has found many common characteristics of codependent behavior, like lack of a strong sense of self. A study of codependency found that every single one of its participants had a hard time defining who they really are, something this study calls “The Chameleon-Self.” In other words, each participant easily adapted to every situation instead of showing up with consistent behavior as their true selves. The participants also described feeling out of control emotionally as well as feeling trapped in the passive role in their relationships in order to please the other person.

Codependency often stems from lack of self-worth, which can then lead to needing external validation. This can show up in every area of life, but it is especially detrimental in relationships. For example, do you find yourself struggling to do things without your partner or find it difficult to pursue hobbies or friendships on your own? Have you ever found yourself changing plans you already had to make sure you can hang with your partner? Or maybe you’ve diminished your own needs to please the other person? While codependent behavior can be toxic and negative, sometimes normal and healthy emotional needs get mistaken for codependent behaviors (especially in situations where our needs aren’t being met, but more on that below). 


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What’s the difference between codependency and having healthy emotional needs?

Since codependency has become a popular term, people often mistakenly use it to describe healthy, normal emotional needs within a relationship. For example, you might worry it’s “needy” to express that you want more regular phone communication when you’re not together or that you want to know where your partner stands. In reality, expressing your needs and communicating expectations are healthy behaviors, not codependent, needy, or high maintenance (and to everyone who thinks otherwise: thank you, next). Our society has often confused codependency with vulnerability. For example, has anyone ever called you (or have you called someone) “needy” if you ask for more time or affection? Do you think it’s “high-maintenance” to let your partner know you need help or have high expectations?

Having emotional needs within the context of a partnership is healthy, and being able to express them and get these needs met is a crucial part of a safe, thriving relationship (it’s not codependent!). The difference is the intention: Are you making requests or certain actions based on what you want out of a relationship, or is it because of your own insecurities, lack of self-worth, and fear the relationship won’t work out? You shouldn’t need your partner to feel good about yourself, but you should be vulnerable and able to depend on your partner. The opposite of codependency isn’t independence; it’s interdependence. 


So how much should you depend on a romantic partner?

Codependency is about losing a sense of self and looking to your partner for all of your needs, while interdependency is the balance of having a strong sense of self while allowing your partner to help and support you. Interdependent relationships are when both partners are able to depend on each other (like knowing the other will be supportive when expressing needs or that you’re able to ask for help), but you won’t forego your needs for theirs and sacrifice yourself for your relationship.

Expressing emotional needs, like asking for more communication, physical touch, or quality time, does not make you codependent (that’s just knowing your love language). These emotional needs within a relationship are normal and healthy, especially when you have honest conversations where the other person respects you and makes changes so your needs can be met. However, it can become codependent when you begin to ask for these things out of a desire to find self-worth or affirmation. 


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Struggling with codependency? Here’s what to do next:

1. Focus on you

If you realize you haven’t seen your friends in a while and only see your partner’s friends or mutual couple friends, ask yourself why. What makes you prioritize your partner or relationship over the life you’ve had up until this point? Same with the small things, like hobbies you might’ve stopped doing or music you stopped listening to. Often, codependency has a lot to do insecurity about not feeling enough without your significant other. To feel enough, prioritize all the things that you love, whether it’s watching more sci-fi movies (even though your partner much prefers comedies) or make plans with the friend that always makes you laugh. Fill your life with so many of the people, activities, and things that bring you joy so that your partner is not your entire life and instead just one amazing piece of an already great life.


2. Check in on your partner’s part in the codependency

So maybe you’ve been feeling like you’re codependent, needy, or high maintenance, but you realize you’ve been expressing healthy emotional needs that just aren’t being met. Or maybe your partner has done things in the past that made you insecure in your relationship. Sometimes it’s not that we’re naturally codependent but that other people can make us insecure or question how “normal” our needs are. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the difficult questions like “Is your partner hearing you out?” and “Do you feel like you have a safe place to express your needs in your relationship?” Bottom line: Codependent or not, you deserve to feel heard, valued, and cared for in your relationship. 


3. Talk with a therapist or relationship counselor

If you’re really struggling with codependency and not having a strong sense of self (in your relationship or otherwise), find a therapist or trusted professional to help you work through these patterns and rebuild your sense of self. Working with a therapist can help you determine the healthy amount of trust, dependence, and vulnerability for you and your relationship. More importantly, working on your own self-identity and building up your interdependence can make you happier, calmer, and better in every aspect of your life.


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