It will not be a stretch to say that we humans are confusing beings. And we possess the propensity to obfuscate two things that supposedly look similar. Two of the most widely unfathomable things, rather feelings, are love and attachment.
You might get a little stupefied when I say that love and affection are two things that rest at polar ends.
So you must be thinking about what is the divergence between affection and love.
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you have questioned whether you are in love or are you just attached to someone? Have you ever been in a relationship and wondered, is it love or just attachment? Or is this person really in love with me or they are with me just for the sake of emotional value?
It is very common for people to misconceive the breach between them, however, it is the focal cause of misunderstanding between several couples.
A lion’s share of individuals part ways because they misinterpret attachment as love. Climax, and BOOM they suddenly develop the audacity to blame their actions on love. That is entirely wrong, instead, why don’t we blame the way we love instead? It is crystal clear that we are completely aloof of the actual meaning and beauty of real love.
So if you are ambiguous as to whether your relationship is being driven on love or attachment, trust me, in retrospect, you are struggling with it.
We have always been taught that if you want someone to really value you and love you with all their heart, you have to make yourself approachable and loveable. These lessons presumably teach us that if we are not properly being loved by someone, it is always something that we are doing wrong that makes us so unlovable.
We spend all our lives trying to make ourselves loveable to others and trying to be someone they want us to be, however doing this we unfortunately
lose who we really are as individuals.
Differences between love and attachment
“There is only one happiness in life: to love, and to be loved.” –unknown.
So your therapist next door *wink wink* is here to help you figure your intimacy dilemma out.
Anyways, let’s get down to canvassing the disparity between love and attachment before you mistake someone’s affection as love. Shall we?
Love is selfless, but attachment can be selfish:
Being in love, all you care about is making your significant other blithe and feel loved. Your mind is always brimmed, trying to come up with plans to make them feel treasured.
The entire world falls at a meaningless depth to you and your partner becomes the epicenter of your motives and the purpose of life.
It does not matter who has the greater score in cooking, fighting, etc. You treat them equally as you treat yourself, or maybe even one step ahead, and the thought of devastating or deceiving them never lands on the table.
Attachment, however, is not about making the other person euphoric, all you can focus on is how full they can make you with joy and validation.
If they fail to do so, you get downright exasperated.
Since there is always the consternation of being betrayed by them, you are always on the verge of dominating and controlling them, which is pointless because if someone feels caged by you, they’ll just end up leaving you.
Love lets liberation flow, attachment puts a bung on it:
When someone loves you, they award you with your own volition.
They reward you with personal space and make you comfortable enough to no longer feel the need to mask your insecurities and fears from them.
They push you to be yourself and nurture your originality.
An invisible common ground exists between you two and you both evolve in a healthy environment composed on the foundation of mutuality and liberation.
As mentioned above, attachment powers a controlling attitude.
Hanging out with people you want to hang out with, doing something you love, or taking risks for the sake of your future no longer stays in the question.
You are dominated by them and they will put restrictions on you and keep you bound to themselves only.
They are always after finding ways to keep you to themselves, and as romantic as it sounds, it is plain unhealthy. You won’t fancy living in a metal cage, will you?
This type of affection is not love.
True love nurtures growth, attachment stunts it:
Love can easily be considered as a plant that can grow only when you water it and nourish it, not when you cut its roots. Much like this, two people in love grow and evolve into the best versions of themselves with the help of each other.
Long story short, partners in love water each other’s roots and stimulate growth in them.
It is already apprehensible from the title that attachment puts a seal on growth.
A love life riddled with restrictions and curtailments can only cut you off from the limitless opportunities life holds in store for you.
All that matters to you is to live your life according to the way your significant other wants you to, not as you want to live it.
Every step you take towards your bright future is dulled down by the fear of being criticized by your controlling partner.
Not being able to resolve your problems and making your decisions rationally never brings you peace of mind.
I will not even mention how distracted you always are by the thoughts of pleasing your controlling partner that you forget to grow.
This is one of the major points that differentiate between having affection for someone and truly loving them.
Love is everlasting, attachment is short-lived:
The wedge between true love and affection is that no matter what, a real love survives through the struggles and hassles that are a part of the love parcel, and reaches the “forever together” destination.
True lovers understand, hype each other up, and make their best to work through the ups and downs of their relationship.
Even if for some reason, you both call it quits, the relationship stays with you for life. It is almost like a relationship you have with a parent.
Even if you move out, or god forbid, lose them, they always stay your parent and you truly love them. They possess a special place in your heart that no one else can occupy, and that exactly is the beauty of love.
Where there is attachment, there is no sense of effort to solve problems and make things work out.
If you break up, there is a sense of resentment incited between you two and it really does not matter if you betray them because you never loved them in the first place.
Hence it was just a metaphoric contract of making someone happy while you wanted to.
Attachment is timely, whereas real love lasts longer and keeps on thriving.
The sooner you get tired of loving someone, the more chances are that it was just attachment, and you mistakenly thought of it as love.
love reduces ego, attachment fuels it:
You might not believe it, but love teaches you great lessons. One of them is to focus on the little things that make up a person’s personality, not what makes their appearance. For a lot of people, love is grounding and teaches them to put their egos aside.
You become less self-centered when you fall in love. It’s not like you don’t love yourself anymore (that is important) but you consider your partner’s happiness as well.
You feel bliss in doing things that put a smile on their face and help them slide their vulnerabilities and insecurities by giving them your love.
Both of you develop the authority to express your opinions without fearing to hurt the other’s ego. Love promotes self-esteem, courage, self-assurance, trust, independence, and composition.
Contrarily, attachment boosts the ego and leads to self-doubt, making you unsure of your individual capabilities.
You become reliant on your partner in an unhealthy way and seek their assistance in all your problems.
Sure, this might sound like a good thing, but not to an extent where it seems that you have stopped making use of your wisdom to come up with solutions.
Love is God’s gift, attachment is contemporary and man-made:
In other words, it can also be said that love is divine, whereas attachment is man-made.
Relations made by God Himself have all the attributes which make them long-lasting.
Love dates back to the start of time, with Adam and Eve. It is how mankind came into existence.
It is no doubt the reason why you and I are here.
We are proof that their love has persisted through all these years. Love is embossed in books, legends, religions.
Attachment, alternatively, is a fabricated version of love, created by those who fear commitment and just need a haven to vent their feelings.
That is the difference between love and affection.
No doubt, it is exhilarating to hold importance in someone’s life or to be loved and cherished by them.
But true love and affection are like land and water, two opposites; sometimes it is the just timely attachment which remains until it simply fades out.
Don’t stretch affection into a relationship because it is just misleading, degrading, and disturbing.
The real deal that separates love from affection is sentiment.
However, it is natural as human beings for us to get attached. We get attached to objects every day: an old watch, houses, countries, cities. We get used to mundane routines, beliefs, experiences, activities, and even people.
However, if this attachment is allowed to extend to an extreme, it can transform into an unhealthy addiction.
Don’t consider taking your attachment into a full-time relationship because it might bring an end to a wonderful friendship. And you wouldn’t want that right?
It is okay to make mistakes, but never mistake affection for love!