If you’re wondering : Is it love or attachment ? Read on and discover the 6 differences we have pinpointed between being in love and just being attached…
Because we’ve all had that friend who constantly jumps from one relationship to the other. One of my oldest friends, let’s call her “D”, was always falling in and out of love, it was almost supernatural! Every time we’d sit down together she would start about her latest love story in terms such as : “No it’s different this time, it’s really wild crazy love”. And so on until the next time. Was it love, or attachment? And what are, come to think of it, the differences between love and attachment?
Is it love or attachment ? Fear of being alone?
And what if the difference between love and attachment was fear of being alone? And what if there was a fine line in between, that many of us overlooked? Maybe we could even just be content with saying that everyone loves in his/her own different way. Even if I’ve heard that true love means expecting nothing from the other, and not using him/her to fill a void… And yet many of us function that way.
Many people, more than you would imagine, are ready to settle for the first person they come across, if that’s what it takes for them not to feel lonely. Such people will believe with all their heart than they have found love, but it will ultimately all go downhill from there. Because if they weren’t lying to themselves, they would know that they have gotten in a couple for bad reasons.
Is it love or attachment ? What are the true differences between love and attachment?
Nobody but you can say wether you are truly in love or not. But sometimes – often really – your heart just doesn’t send you the right signals. It can sneakily lead you to believe that you’ve fallen madly in love, when you are in fact just filling in a hole. A big empty one. And it feels so good! Could it be love? Think again!
1/ Love is close to hate. Attachment isn’t as strong
“I’m crazy flowing over with ideas/ A thousand ways to woo a lover so sincere?/ Love and hate what a beautiful combination/ Sending shivers up and down my spine” (Erasure)
Love and hate are very close friends, no news there. When you love someone very much and you go through a breakup, you will often go from sadness to profound hatred. And that’s absolutely normal! When a love both strong and powerful comes to a halt, it triggers another equally strong and powerful feeling, which unfortunately often turns out to be a negative one.
When you are simply attached to someone, you won’t be confronted to those feelings of hatred towards him/her. Or at least they won’t last very long. If a feeling of hate occurs, it’s more in reaction to a blow to your ego. The difference between love and attachment is that, when you are attached to someone, you generally feel emotions such as anger or anxiety. Second class negative emotions. Because your feelings towards the other simply aren’t as strong as love.
2/ Love is wanting to make the other happy, attachment is seeking happiness through the other
Love, true love, doesn’t wait. Kundera, in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, writes : “Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.”
Read also : The 6 best signs of true love in a relationship
When you are truly in love, you shouldn’t wait for anything from the other. When you love, your first wish is your partner’s happiness. Some people only ever discover love’s true power when they become a parent. For that is what loving is : putting the other’s needs before your own.
On the other hand, when you are attached to someone, it more often than not simply means that you need somebody – anybody. People with affective dependence are rarely in love, and yet they can be very clingy.
3/ Love is freedom, attachment is possession
When you are truly in love and in a healthy relationship, you don’t need to see the other everyday in order for you to feel safe. Personally, my partner and I take one or two weeks of vacation every year, each with our own friends. We also often go to our own seperate parties on friday nights. And we never have any uncomfortable sensations about this because our relationship is based on mutual trust.
Earlier I was telling you about affective dependence when it comes to attachment. You feel a constant need for the other’s presence, and if you don’t get it you feel unsafe. The moment you aren’t together anymore, you become paranoid, you wonder what he/she is doing, where, with whom… In short, you don’t trust your partner. Or yourself. And how could you truly love someone if you don’t start with loving yourself?
4/ Love makes you better, attachment makes you toxic
When you love and are loved back, it kind of pulls you up. Your partner makes you better and you make him/her better in return. Love allows you to fight any battle, to climb any mountain, to sail through any storm, to overcome any obstacle.
Read also : The differences between love and passion
When you are attached to someone, you’re always kind of playing a game of thrones. Who loves whom the most? Who’s wearing the pants?
5/ Attachment is a poor imitation of love
When you love someone and your love is true, it’s for life. Even if your relationship doesn’t work out, you will always both be linked by an invisible thread.
Attachment only lasts for a while. And if you are simply attached to somebody, you will always get higher expectations. And as a result be constantly frustrated. Like stuck in the opposition phase of your couple.
6/ Love is a difficult thing ; attachment only ever gets harder when you are far from one another
True love is never an easy thing. The fact that it’s a pure and beautiful feeling could lead you to think so, but anything intense and potentially life-changing requires a truly humongous amount of work. Each day must you tend to your love, and nurture it.
It’s way simpler with attachment because there’s nothing to feed. You just have to be together – that’s it. You can measure the intensity of your relationship by using the number of times you see each other in a week…
You need the other person in the same way as you would need a drug. But it doesn’t grow, it doesn’t transform into something potentially better. As with any drug, the high never lasts, and you always come crashing down in the end…