You’ve been going out with this person for quite some time now, but how will you know if it’s the real deal? How will you know if you’re truly in love or just overly attached to a person?
Love is already full of complexities, so knowing if it’s love or not should be easier. To guide you with your relationship dilemma, here are five ways to tell real love apart from attachment:
1. “Love is selfless, attachment is selfish”
Love is making your partner feel loved and happy, while attachment is forcing your partner to make you feel good about yourself. When you are in love, you go the extra mile to express how much you value the other person. You don’t keep tabs on who is exerting more effort in the relationship.
However, if you are overly attached, you make sure that the whole relationship is all about you. That’s why you end up dominating and manipulating your partner so that every aspect of the relationship works for you. This type of selfishness breeds frustration and discomfort in the relationship.
2. “Love is liberating, attachment is controlling”
The power of true love liberates you to show your true self. If your relationship is founded on trust, you will never be afraid to reveal even the weakest of your weaknesses. If you fully accept your partner, both the good and bad parts, you let go of the need to control them for whatever reason there is.
If it becomes controlling, then it isn’t love anymore. Too much attachment to your partner manifests when you start playing mind games, and set one-way expectations. This kind of behavior only fills a void within you because your happiness is solely dependent on your partner.
3. “Love is mutual growth, attachment is encumbering”
With mutual respect, you are able to grow personally while your relationship with your partner matures at the same time. This kind of love inspires you to aim higher and reach for your dreams because you got each other’s back. Growing together allows you to make the best out of your individual talents.
In relationships based on too much dependence, the case would be different. When you rely on your partner to solve your personal issues, you might be putting unnecessary burden in the relationship already, which can harm the personal development of your partner. This will hinder both you and your partner in taking advantage of the many opportunities in life.
4. “Love is everlasting, attachment is transient”
People in love work hard on their relationships. That’s why it lasts. It survives the challenges brought about by time because there is a strong commitment between two people. As they say, ‘it takes two to tango.’ Even when the relationship may fail in the long run, that person will still hold a special place in your heart.
If your relationship is in the level of attachment only, it will tend to end quickly. Attachment nurtures feeling of resentment towards your partner, because there is the assumption that your other half is responsible of making you happy. And whenever you feel unhappy and unfulfilled, you take it against your partner. This is what a toxic relationship looks like.
5. “Love is ego-reducing, attachment is ego-boosting”
Love transforms you to see greater things beyond yourself. This relationship reduces your ego, and enables you to shower more love to your partner and to the world at large. You are able to find value and happiness from seeing your partner succeed in the path this person has chosen to traverse.
n On the other hand, a relationship transcended by ego only falls into the vicious cycle of recurrent problems, because it is self-centered and based on mere attachment. In other words, it’s just relationship at the surface level. No deep connections are formed because you only focus on your self-worth.