Difference Between Love and Attachment

Love vs Attachment

It is true that love and attachment are very much related to one another though there is a clear difference between these two words. So, even though most of us consider love and attachment as similar and can be used interchangeably, this is a misconception. Love is a strong affection that an individual feels for another person. This can range from true affection to extreme passion. Love allows a person to understand completely and care for another beyond conditions. Attachment, however, is quite different to love. It is a strong bond that has been created between two individuals. This attachment can be positive or negative. A healthy attachment allows the individual to grow, but an unhealthy attachment can be very detrimental. The key difference between love and attachment is that love is directed towards another, but an attachment is directed towards oneself. Through this article let us examine the differences between love and attachment while gaining a better understanding of each word.

What is Love?

Love can be defined as a strong attraction that an individual feels for another. Love is deep and can take various forms. It may direct an individual not only to create a strong bond with another individual but also to care for another unconditionally. This unconditional love will sometimes involve harming one’s self, such as in the case of self-sacrifices. Love makes the individual care for the other than one’s self. Love includes a strong emotional connection, understanding, passion, and intimacy.

When loving another, we do not expect anything in return. We have the ability to be happy at the success of another and hope for the best for that person. Unlike in the case of attachment, in love the individual is not obsessed in one’s happiness, but with the other’s happiness and success.

Difference Between Love and Attachment

What is Attachment?

Attachment can be defined as a strong bond developed between two individuals. Humans can get attached to many things. It can be to physical objects such as money, houses, jobs, books, etc. or else to people such as one’s family, friends, lovers, etc. A key difference between attachment and love is that attachment is directed towards one’s self. We are attached to another, not for his or her betterment but for our need to have someone.

Healthy attachments can be a positive influence on the individual as it allows a person to develop and nurture. However, if one does not have a proper control over one’s attachment, this can lead to an unhealthy attachment. For example, in a relationship, if the two parties are suffering and have no love, but still stay together because they are afraid of being alone, this is an unhealthy attachment. Both realize that they are not suited for each other but cannot break up due to the fear of being alone. In such cases, the individual clings on to another for his needs.

 Love vs Attachment

What is the difference between Love and Attachment?

• Definition of Love and Attachment:

• Love can be defined as a strong attraction that an individual feels for another.

• Attachment can be defined as a strong bond developed between two individuals.

• Direction:

• Love is directed at another.

• Attachment is directed towards one’s self.

• Extent of Caring:

• In love, the individual cares for another even more than himself.

• In an attachment, the individual cares for himself more than for the other.

• Depth:

• Love is deeper than attachment.

• Love and Attachment:

• A person can be attached to someone without loving that person. In such cases, the desire is to fulfill one’s needs.

• Selfish vs Selflessness:

• Love is selfless.

• Attachment is selfish. It is driven by the fear of being alone.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Love by Usbkabel (CC BY-SA 4.0)
  2. Laughing couple by Peter Drier (CC BY 2.0)