Differences Between Real Love, and Unhealthy Attachment.

To love someone truly is an immensely difficult task. Some people will tell you, it was effortless but I think it’s a difficult task because it involves us parting from all traits and imperfections that make us human.

Why do people love and still feel bad? Why do we even have such feelings in the first place?

Obviously it is because of our attachment and all attachment stems from ego. We love, we are attached, we think everything should be our way, if not we are fill sorrow

Once the focal point changes it becomes easier to love someone unconditionally, unattached. But to make it possible we have to part ways with ego which is nearly impossible. People who can do it are the ones who can love others without attachment.

What is attachment and what is love?

Attachment does not have such a deep meaning as love does. Being attached is seemingly being close to a certain target. It is when you subconsciously direct yourself towards a certain target or individual. Attachment is based on YOUR feelings, YOUR needs, YOUR perspective only.

 For instance,

Just because we were born in the same family, that gives us a natural attachment but that does not mean that there is love. I have seen sibling at loggerhead with each other and I have seen twins who cannot stand the sight of each other. Yes it happens.

Read more on What is Love

But when it comes to love, it is very hard to define. Love is a feeling so it not a physical thing that can be measured. Love is when you are thinking about them, you want to be with them, love them. Love is when you are more concerned about them than yourself. When you love something, be it human or an animal or soap or your job or your religion, you subconsciously keep it on your mind and revert to it as if that is all can humanly think about.

Attachment is just a step towards love, but not entirely love. When you are confuse about what love is, it simply means you are likely attached to someone who truly is not the best for you.

How to know if you are only attached to someone or you love them?

Attachment can be the beginning of love or just a temporary connection with someone. Which brings the question, is there is any scientific formula to discriminate the attachment, love, and liking? Truth be told, it’s not something that can be assessed in a short period of time. Sometimes it takes years. Our attachment styles describe how we function in relationships and these can definitely have an impact on our feeling like we are “in love” when we may be breeding an unhealthy attachment.

Attraction and attachment go hand in hand. First you are attracted to the person on thing then when you get close you get attached. You can be attracted to someone but bear in mind that, attraction and lust does not equal love.When you are attached to someone, you find yourself spending time with each other sharing your daily chores, feelings and you want to talk with that person you get attached to them.

And love is when you have feelings for person .when you see that person your heart beats fasten. You just want to be with that person no matter their physical structure .you forget your entire problem. Have you ever seen someone who is In love and is not attached to the person they loved? I have not seen. You love this person, you want to know how they are, what they are doing? You will want to be part of their daily activities. I will say love is a specific attachment. Here are the specifics:

  • You will know you love someone when you think of them as more important than yourself.
  • You will sacrifice many things that are important to you for them (unintentionally and by this I mean you won’t do it for the sake of love but rather for them to be happy.
  • There is no room for doubts.
  • If you love them you shall feel a special indescribable feeling.
  • It has to be healthy.

Signs of unhealthy attachment

You will agree with me that a relationship is meant to be fun filled, you feel safe and secured but being in a relationship where you have to always be tensed up, worried and scared it not keeping.  Most times we may not know how unhealthy our attachment to that individual is or we may probably be in self-denial. Maintaining all aspects of a particular relationship despite fully rationalizing and realizing how detrimental it is, is an indication that the attachment is unhealthy.

Listed below are some signs of an unhealthy attachment.
  • It’s not a relationship worth having but you are fearful of the unknown alone. Most people will use the phrase; the devil you know is better than the angle you don’t know.
  • You are nostalgic about what they were like during the early stages of the relationship…..so romantic, nice, kind and thoughtful.
  • You hang on hoping they will revert to the person you thought they were. Honey, what they are now is their real self; they are now comfortable around you and they have let their guard down. One thing you must know is; you cannot turn back the clock in a relationship where roles and patterns of behavior have been established and true natures are exposed.
  • Over time, you must have notice some negative setbacks or adverse results from the association.
  • When you feel “off” and anxious, you start feeling you are not good enough when you are with them. 
  • When you get a sense that your relationship is transactional. That is; they are with you as long as you serve their purpose.
  • When you are fearful of displeasing them and not living up to their expectations or always scared of losing their love.
  • When you are constantly hurt or confused by their actions.
  • When you do not trust them and cannot justify a reason to.
  • When you make excuses to your friends about their rude behavior.
  • When you ignore infidelity.
  • When you are constantly apologize for things you did not do, or to your friends and family, making excuses for what they did.

All these are not good signs. If by chance you have seen or you are currently experiencing these signs, then here are some questions for you;

  • Is he/she easy to talk to?
  • Do you have things in common?
  • Do you spend time together?
  • Are you comfortable around him/her?
  • Does he/she make you smile/ laugh?
  • Do you trust him/her?
  • Does your face light up when you see him/her?
  • Does he/she make you nervous?
  • Do you want a relationship with him/her?
  • If you have been intimate with him/her, how does that make you feel?
  • Do you want to spend time with him/her?

Always remember people don’t “fall out of love” as much as they do “fall in love”. They choose to no longer love the person for whatever reason it is whether it is justified or not.

Written by: Juliana Jonathan

Photo credit: stockphotos




I’m Julia Jonathan, I write on relationships, communication and lifestyle advice. I believe there’s always room to improve no matter how incredible you think you are. If you think so too, follow me to see more inspirational stories and articles

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