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Love vs Attachment: Is There a Vital Difference Between the Two?

Love vs Attachment

They say that love has no ego, and in that case can love and attachment be the same thing? Let’s check out the differences of love vs attachment.

Have you ever wondered what love really is? Do you need love to have an attachment or vice versa? Or is it more like love vs attachment?

What is love really?

Love is a strange thing. It makes us feel on top of the world one minute. Then suddenly has us plummeting down to depths we never thought possible. The highs make you feel alive. The lows make you wonder why you even bother with love in the first place.

The bottom line is that we all want to be loved, but we all want to love in return. Loving someone is selfless. It’s a way to look after and care for someone without expecting anything back in return. Of course, it’s nice to get something back in return, i.e. their love too, but that’s not always the case! [Read: The 4 attachment styles and how they impact your relationship]

Can you confuse love for something else?

Love can be confused with many things, and lust is probably the most common. Infatuation is another. While love is supposed to be passionate and all-consuming, it’s not supposed to take away a part of who you are. Nor should it make you feel like you can’t breathe. Love is a gentle, yet powerful, phenomenon. In order to ensure that it is love you’re feeling, think very carefully about the relationship you’re in.

With that in mind, I’m going to pit love vs attachment against each other.

Aside from lust and infatuation, two of the most breath-taking and extreme feelings, attachment is something which is often confused for love. Attachment can form part of a loving relationship, but it will only allow the relationship to thrive if the attachment is healthy. When attachment becomes too extreme, it can suck the life out of your partner and turn you into a nervous wreck.

If you’re recognizing that explanation in your current relationship, perhaps it’s time to sit down and have a hard look at the union you’re in. [Read: The 10 clear signs you’re feeling infatuation and not love]

Love vs attachment, what do they feel like?

To figure out whether you truly love someone or simply attached, we need to pit them against each other. How do they feel, and what situations you might feel them in.

Attachment can be obsessive. It can be an unhealthy connection to someone which means you don’t want them to leave your sight. When they’re away, you might feel worried, on edge, and have a tendency to check in with them far too often. On the other hand, attachment can occur when a relationship is simply ticking along. The passion has gone and you’re sticking around out of habit.

Both situations can be due to attachment. Neither is a true form of love. [Read: 12 signs your fierce emotional attachment is unhealthy]

Let’s be honest, attachment is selfish, but love is selfless. From that description, you might wonder how the two can coexist. Well, they can, but not very well.

Let’s look at both situations again and work out what the differences are.

If you’re overly attached, e.g. you don’t like your partner going out without you, nervous when they’re away from you, and you don’t like them being spontaneous with their friends, that’s not love, that’s control. You might love them deep down, but your love has taken a turn for the dark. You’re in danger of suffocating the life out of them.

Your attachment in this case isn’t pure. A loving relationship allows your partner space, just like you have space in return. You allow each other time with your friends separately. In fact, you encourage it. [Read: 12 signs you’re being selfish in the relationship]

You both know that spending time apart and enjoying your own personal interests gives you something to talk about. It allows you to enjoy your special time together. It’s a healthy balance within a relationship, ensuring that the scales don’t tip too far in one direction.

When a relationship consists of one partner who doesn’t want to be apart from their lover and the other one trying to go about their business and see their friends, there are going to be screaming rows, emotional ups and downs, and the whole thing is doomed for failure.

The attachment has become too much, and it’s probably down to a total lack of trust and faith in the relationship.

Can you turn it around?

If this sounds your like your predicament, consciously pull back a little. Right the scales of love vs attachment, and work on trusting your partner. Understand that time apart is healthy and necessary. [Read: 11 signs of being smothered in a relationship that seems like love]

Of course, if you’re coming to the end of a relationship you might be feeling attachment that stops you from leaving. You know it’s for the best, but you don’t want to forget their face, you don’t want to live with the memories. You can’t bear to not have them in your life in some way. Again, this is selfish.

You’re stopping your partner from being with someone who appreciates everything about them and isn’t secretly plotting to leave them on the side. You also deserve a relationship with someone who you’re not staying with simply out of habit and attachment.

We all deserve love

Real love has a certain amount of attachment connected to it. If you weren’t attached to your partner, then there would be no reason to be together! The difference between a loving, healthy amount of attachment and a type of attachment which doesn’t serve a purpose is understanding you are two separate people in your own rights. [Read: Want a happily ever after? Look for these 14 signs of love]

This type of attachment is natural and doesn’t require any work. You are magnetically drawn to each other because of the love you feel for one another. You want to see each other and spend time together, but it doesn’t drive you to extremes or cause negative feelings.

For instance, whenever my partner is away, of course, I miss them, but I don’t send them messages every ten minutes, sit and let my life get away from me, and refuse to eat. I am not pining for them. I am simply missing them. That’s a healthy amount of attachment. The type of balance between love vs attachment you need to aim for. [Read: These are the 15 rules you need for a healthy love]

How to judge an unhealthy attachment

On the other hand, if you can’t eat, sleep, constantly wondering where they are and what they’re up to, focus on yourself. Take the spotlight from your relationship. Ask yourself why you feel this way, and why you have so little trust in your partner.

Have they cheated on you before? Are you acting out of previous experiences in past relationships? Do you have a generally negative mindset? These are all things you can work on. It will help to right the balance between love vs attachment.

The scales should sit somewhere in the middle. The weight should be even, so neither side is higher or lower than the other. You should be attached to each other because you are in love, not because you want to control or escape the relationship.

A healthy amount of attachment is a good thing, anything other than that is negative and toxic.

[Read: How to know if you relationship is toxic so you can get out fast]

How do you measure love vs attachment? Love is honest and pure and doesn’t require you to grab hold of your partner and never let them go. If that’s the case with your relationship, it’s time to evaluate why you feel this way.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...

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