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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 October 13, 2020

        12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

        12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

        Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?

        We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.

        1. Compare Yourself to Others

        People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.

        In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1]. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.

        Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.

        2. Be Mean-Spirited

        People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.

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        If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.

        3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day

        Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse. 

        Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.

        People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.

        If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.

        4. Dwell on Failure

        It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.

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        People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset[2]. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.

        For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”

        Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:

        5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem

        People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.

        Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.

        6. Try to Please Others

        They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.

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        7. Close Yourself off

        Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.

        As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”[3]. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.

        You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:

        8. Follow and Avoiding Leading

        People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.

        9. Fish for Compliments

        If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.

        You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.

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        10. Be Lazy

        People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.

        This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.

        11. Shy Away from Risks

        When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.

        12. Gossip

        People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.

        Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.

        The Bottom Line

        Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.

        If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

        More Tips on Building Confidence

        Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem
        [2] Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
        [3] Forbes: Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better

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