When in a relationship, we sometimes mistake attachment for love. That's a really common mistake that prevents us from finding "the one" and makes us stick to people even if we aren't truly in love with them.
So what are the basic differences between true love and attachment?
First of all, true love with another begins with a solid foundation of self-love and independence. Once that is achieved, two complete people can create an amazing relationship that amplifies and empowers each others lives in unparalleled ways.
Healthy attachment helps couples stay together after the “falling in love” hormones wear off, and through the inevitable challenges that come with letting someone into your heart and life. Healthy attachment ensures that couples do the work necessary to navigate through conflicts and differences. This type of attachment is the heart of commitment, and is similar to the dedication that gets people to drink water instead of coffee, or get on their yoga mats instead of plopping down to watch TV. This attachment is ultimately a liberating force, it ensures that we do what is right for us even if it is inconvenient or challenges our laziness.
But when attachment becomes dependency, it is no longer healthy. When people believe that they need other people or things to be happy, they are in danger of unhealthy attachment. Unhealthy attachment is a form of displacement and delusion. We come to believe that the source of our health and happiness is outside of ourselves. Then our identities and senses of self, our ability to feel pleasure, happiness, and other positive emotions becomes dependent on the words and actions of something outside of ourselves. When we believe that a person must remain in our lives or a situation must remain as it is for us to be happy and stable, regardless of whether the situation is actually healthy for us, then we are unhealthily attached.
Moreover, love is accepting that what is meant to be, will be. Attachment is not seeing this persons flaws. It is thinking they are pure perfection and they can do no wrong. It is defending this person even if they hurt you. It is a constant cycle of blindness.
Attachment is needing and toxic. It’s only being ok when you are with that person. It is not being able to live without them. It is thinking that they are the reason you are on this earth. It is the idea that you are not complete without that person.
Additionally, love is selfless, while attachment is self-centered.
When you're in love, it's all about the other person. For the first time in your life, you want to put someone else's needs before your own.
When it's just attachment, you just want someone to be there before you. You're not looking out for him or her — you're looking out for you.
Mutual love allows you to be your true self. Your partner encourages you to be who you genuinely are and you won’t be afraid to expose your weaknesses. Attachment, on the other hand, tends to fuel controlling behavior.
Do you read these signs of attachment in your relationship? Then that may mean that you need to move on with your life. If you have learnt how to spot attachment, then, believe me, you are definitey capable of spotting true love!
Written by Katerina Papakyriakopoulou