Heartbreak

Why You Often Mistake Love For Attachment

Photo: Malysheva Liudmyla / shutterstock
couple tangled up

By Brittany Christopoulos

We always think we know what love actually is. The definition changes for everyone; however, we often mistake love for attachment.

We believe that grasping and clinging to the person we are in a relationship with is showing love. The truth is, it isn’t. It just shows the attachment we have toward someone.

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The more we hold on and the tighter the grip, the more we are afraid of losing that person. And the tighter the grip, the harder the heartbreak.

When you are the type of person to hold on to someone, you become so reliant on the other to provide you with every emotion of joy. They more than likely don’t feel it on their own so they look to someone else to give it to them.

They affiliate happiness with that person, and that shouldn’t be the case.

The definition of attachment is: to be attached to something to perform a particular function. That function is to provide them with fulfillment and happiness; they are deeply attached to someone in fear you will lose them and that great feeling.

It’s a selfish kind of “love” we think we have that basically says, “I love you, I want to make you happy so you will stay with me.”

I don’t believe that relationships should be that way.

Genuinely loving someone isn’t holding them tight, it’s holding them gently and with nurturing hands, giving them freedom and their independence. You allow things to naturally progress and let the flow happen the way it’s supposed to.

If we genuinely love someone, we would want them to have the utmost happiness, even if they are no longer in our lives.

You stand behind their decisions, accept them and let them do what they have to to be happy, even if you don’t agree with them. It’s not that you become submissive, you just understand that’s what they need to do to be happy.

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You do not find fulfillment within someone else. You find it within yourself first.

Relationships where one person is so emotionally attached to the other rarely works for their benefit. You can vocalize your fantasies, what your desires are within a partner or what you want them to provide, but you’ll soon realize if they can give that to you or not, as will they.

The solution shouldn’t be to stay with that person, but to so many people, women in particular, it is.

Instead of moving on to someone who can give that to you, you stay with them because you don’t think anyone else will compare, even though you know they are not your Prince Charming.

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Unless someone can showcase kindness, passion, similar desires and romantic feelings that you have as well, the relationship won’t work. Compromise will only last for so long until someone can’t withhold that act they’ve been playing.

That’s why women lose their sense of self in relationships. They work so hard at changing themselves to keep someone else who doesn’t particularly want to stay in their lives.

It’s easily identifiable to the person in the relationship who is being held on to, and it’s not their responsibility to give you a sense of well-being.

The point is, we need to stop confusing attachment with love.

It’s easy to have the vision become distorted when in love-colored glasses. We need to love openly and put their happiness before our own at times to show them we love them, not become clingy and desperate to keep them around.

Remember; love isn't holding on to someone in fear we will lose them, love is placing them on the palm of our hand and trusting them to love you back but letting them leave if they want to.

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Brittany Christopoulos is a writer, journalist and fill-in TV co-host. She's a Senior Writer and Head of Trending News for Unwritten. Follow her on Twitter.

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