7 ways to tell if what you feel is attachment or love
Love and attachment usually come hand in hand, but there's a fine line that differentiates them. More often than not, we confuse one with the other and end up misunderstanding the entire relationship, which is never a good thing given the lives and emotions of those involved.
It is important to understand the distinction as it only helps in strengthening the relationship, be it love or attachment. The clarity is of utmost importance and there are 7 signs that you can look out for in order to know if you are attached (without love) or in love.
#7 Attachment is comfortable, love isn't
While both love and attachment may stem from the same need love is way more complicated than attachment. Attachment puts you in the comfort zone as both of you are focused on the same thing and do not look beyond the similarities and the peace that comes with it. Love, on the other hand, is more than that. In love, you are also interested in the bad and the ugly side of the other person.
You are not only looking for the things that brought you together but also the things that may cause you to argue, fight and differ. Love brings out a much larger range of emotions in a person (including hate and anger) than attachment and that is why love consumes a person completely.
#6 Attachment is more a need for company, love is a need for the person
People who are attached and not in love will miss the other person a lot as they grow comfortable in each other's company. This need for company emerges out of the comfort zone in which people find themselves in with each other. Attachment doesn't challenge a person, it comforts them.
Love works in a different way. In love, you are not just looking for company, but for the person completely. In love, you need to have the other person mind, body and soul and true love goes even further wherein distance stops mattering and the need for company is reduced by the thought that you both are in love with each other.
#5 Attachment is based on need (want) while love is based on giving
When someone finds themselves attached to someone else, but not in love, they feel the need to be closer, they feel that they are missing out on something and that the other person owes them their presence in some way. They complain if the other person doesn't do exactly what is expected out of them. It's more of 'me' than 'you'.
Love, however, is not based on receiving but giving. In love, you do not look for what you gain out of a relationship but what you can give to the other person. Love is generous, an attachment is selfish. In love, you would always find yourself wishing to give all you have to the other person while attachment works in exactly the opposite way. Attachment hopes to receive while in love, there's no extent to what you may be willing to give the other person.
#4 Attachment may not let you grow, love will always help you grow
If you find yourself stuck in a relationship and realize that you haven't grown as a person, chances are that you may be more attached than in love. Since the attachment is based on somewhat selfish needs, the impulse to help each other grow is generally not present. Both people find themselves in their comfort zone and it turns into stagnation from that point on.
Love, as we pointed out, challenges a person. When you find yourself challenging your partner and being challenged in turn, you can safely assume that both of you are moving towards growth (both as individuals and as a couple). Love will propel you to demand more and more from your partner because you know you are giving more and more every moment. Love will instinctively drive you towards mutual growth which might not be true for a loveless attachment.
#3 Attachment can be destructive, love isn't
When you are simply attached to someone, you tend to develop dependency. It can grow to the levels of obsession and there may occur a time when you'll be sure that you can't live without the other person. This pain could be destructive for you as the need overtakes reason. You start focusing on your loss (when the person you are attached to leaves) and it may take a toll on you.
Losing someone you love can also be painful and may hurt a lot but there's a reason behind it, there's rationality and you understand them clearly. The loss of love can become bearable once you understand the reason as to why the other person left. In love, if the other person goes away you know that it was good for them and you wish them well but when you are just attached, the loss seems more personal and their leaving could spark dangerous levels of anger in you.
#2 Attachment breeds dependency, while love frees you
When you are simply attached to a person, you would feel their absence acutely. Since you have grown comfortable and have developed a dependency on their presence, their absence would hurt like nothing else. More than the person, you would feel the loss of your comfort, you would feel the loss of being safe and you would feel deeply the discomfort that comes with a loss.
Love, on the other hand, frees you. It makes you more independent as you understand exactly what you want in life and in love. Since love isn't selfish, you can always find someone else to give your all but there may not be someone else who made you as comfortable as you were with the person you were attached to. Love would not disrupt your peace (though it will bite) because you will still have freedom and independent thoughts, which is not the case when you are just attached to someone.
#1 Attachment is a drug, love, a medicine
The withdrawal symptoms of a drug are unbearably painful as we may all understand. It happens because we are so dependent on the drug that we physically fight its absence. It takes a lot of time and effort to return to normal and so is the case with an attachment which is not based on love. We find ourselves confused and disoriented with a feeling of helplessness which is almost impossible to describe.
Love, however, acts like a medicine. It cures your pain, from previous experiences or otherwise. Love completes you and it is something that frees you (as mentioned earlier). Love makes you a complete person who understands themselves and helps you cope with their loss relatively well. Love heals and it will always be the sweet memories of love that you'll remember while it is the negativity that would define an attachment for you. The difference is so subtle that only a personal experience could act as a perfect explanation and hence we invite you to see for yourself if you are actually in love or simply attached to the other person in your life.
Let us know what you think about these differences and if you have had similar experiences in life by dropping us an email at email@example.com