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5 Differences Between Real Love And Attachment

5 Differences Between Real Love And Attachment

Are you in love with your partner or are you just attached to them? Love can be complicated, but this article explains a few of the differences between attachment and real love. I hope that these explanations will aid you in nurturing your current relationship or creating one based on genuine love in the future.

1. Love is selfless, attachment is selfish

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    When you’re in love, you focus on making the other person happy. You’re always thinking of ways to make sure that your partner feels loved and fulfilled. You aren’t keeping score, arguing over who helps more, or fighting over who is supposed to wash the dishes. You don’t emotionally blackmail your partner, try to manipulate them, or seek to dominate the relationship.

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    When you’re merely attached to someone, you’re focused upon the ways in which they can make you happy. You become heavily dependent upon your partner and may even try to control him or her to avoid abandonment. Instead of confronting your own issues, you use your partner to improve your self-esteem and fill a void within you. You believe that they are responsible for your happiness and become frustrated and angry if they fail to bring you contentment.

    2. Love is liberating, attachment is controlling

    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. Mutual trust develops and becomes a powerful catalyst for personal growth for both of you. Love is never controlling. In actuality, love transcends control. Your partner’s ability to accept you for who you are and encourage you to pursue your dreams allows you to let go of the need to control their life.

    Attachment, on the other hand, tends to fuel controlling behavior. You may discourage your partner from spending time with their friends, play mind games, or put an unhealthy level of focus on pleasing them. You may even try to manipulate them into staying with you regardless of their feelings.

    3. Love is mutual growth, attachment is encumbering

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      Photo credit: Source

      If you’re in love, you and your partner will grow together. When both of you work to become the best versions of yourselves, you’ll become better than you could have on your own. In short, your partner stimulates your growth, and you do the same for them.

      In cases of attachment, your urge to control and your inability to solve your own problems restricts your growth as well as your partner’s. Your unresolved issues cause unnecessary dependence upon your significant other. Not surprisingly, this restricts the growth of both parties and makes it difficult to love in a healthy way.

      4. Love is everlasting, attachment is transient

      Love survives the passage of time. You and your partner may ultimately breakup, be it temporarily or permanently. If you were truly in love, however, that person will always have a place in your heart and you will continue to wish them well for the rest of their life.

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      If, on the other hand, you were merely attached to them, you will likely hold resentment after a breakup. You may even experience feelings of betrayal. These feelings stem from the assumption that your partner had an obligation to make you happy that, in your eyes, was not fulfilled.

      5. Love is ego-reducing, attachment is ego-boosting

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        When in love, you become less self-centered. Your relationship serves to reduce your ego, fosters your growth, and encourages you to become less selfish and more loving. The relationship you have with your partner fuels positive changes for both of you. More importantly, you’ll both have the courage to share your weaknesses, expose your vulnerabilities, and communicate from the heart.

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        Alternatively, relationships based on attachment are typically dominated by the ego. This is why many people repeatedly fall into a continuous stream of unsatisfying relationships, each of which involves the same, recurrent problems. You find it difficult to look within and resolve your issues. This generates dependency within your relationship, which triggers the feeling that you can’t be happy without your partner. You rely on your significant other to solve your problems or, at the very least, help you forget them.

        If you aren’t in love right now, I sincerely hope that you will find your soul mate and build a magnificent relationship with that person. Until then, why not work on becoming a better and more loving version of yourself? As the saying goes “Like attracts like”. If that’s the case, it’s wise to become the person that you wish to attract!

        Featured photo credit: couple holding hands via pixabay.com

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        Last Updated on August 6, 2020

        6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

        6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

        We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

        “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

        Are we speaking the same language?

        My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

        When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

        Am I being lazy?

        When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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        Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

        Early in the relationship:

        “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

        When the relationship is established:

        “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

        It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

        Have I actually got anything to say?

        When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

        A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

        When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

        Am I painting an accurate picture?

        One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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        How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

        Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

        What words am I using?

        It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

        Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

        Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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        Is the map really the territory?

        Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

        A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

        I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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