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5 Ways to Tell If You're In Love or Just Attached To Your Partner

5 Ways to Tell If You're In Love or Just Attached To Your Partner

People get into relationships for a multitude of different reasons and sometimes these reasons are shallow and fleeting.

Have you ever met someone who seemed to be in a different relationship every other week? Or maybe it wasn’t so much that they had a new partner often, but that they never really took the time to be single? As someone who used to be this way in the past, I can tell you that it’s difficult to distinguish between actually being in love and having an unhealthy habit of simply getting attached to someone.

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People get into relationships for a multitude of different reasons and sometimes these reasons are shallow and fleeting. So, if you’re just starting out in a relationship or are thinking about pursuing one, it’s always good to know the differences between someone you’re truly falling for and someone you’re with for other reasons.

Here are five differences between love and attachment.

Selfless vs. self-absorbed

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When you truly love someone else, you start to put their best interests before your own. Your actions, behaviors, and words all start to reflect the affection, passion, and devotion you have for him or her. When you’re attached to someone, the other person’s presence is necessary simply to fulfill your needs and desires. You’re not worried so much about their well-being, only your own.


Love is timeless but attachment has an expiration

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True love never wonders about time and whether or not things will come to an end. It may cross your mind as simple curiosity, but your love for the other person never allows this curiosity to become a reality. When you’ve come to love someone, that love is almost always something that lasts forever. Attachment has an expiration date from the start. It’s not a real connection, but rather a dependency for one person or both. Trying to grow through attachment is a disaster waiting to happen.

Passion vs. apathy

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A relationship full of love is one that is full of passion and chemistry. You can’t really describe the feeling that’s inside of you, because that feeling is so intense and powerful that it’s hard to put into words. Yet, it’s always there, driving you, motivating you to be the best partner you can be.

Attachment is chock-full of apathy. You don’t really ever feel too strongly towards your partner, and you might have moments where emotions run high and things feel good, but it will never compare to the fiery dynamics of love.

Me vs. Us

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Being truly in love with your partner means that the two of you have started planning your lives together. You have a new perspective on the world, one that is concerned with the best path for *both* of you. You are both respectful to each other’s life goals and wishes, and listen to and support one another concerning ambitions and dreams. You compromise to find the best plan of action for the couple.

Attachment is more of a power dynamic. One person has one plan in mind and the other person has another plan in mind, and each person is fighting to control the direction of the relationship. The paths are not converging, they’re separating.

Freedom vs. possession

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True love means not needing to be attached to your partner at the hip at all times. True love creates freedom because worry and concern about who they’re with or what they’re doing when you’re not around are replaced with trust, loyalty and a strong bond. You both trust one another to do right by the other, even when they’re not around.

When you’re attached to someone, you’re never 100 percent okay without them around. You hate being apart from one another, not because of love, but because you’re worried about what they might do. If the only time you feel at ease or fully okay is when you’re with your partner, it’s an unhealthy attachment.

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