One way that people deprive themselves of love is especially confusing because it seems to be a way to increase it. This is attachment. In its mildest form, attachment is the desire to be with someone special. Adult relationships carry attachment to a deeper level, but the exclusivity remains. Shouldn’t intimate relationships be exclusive in just this way?
Here are the differences between love and attachment:
- Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires.
- Love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand: “Make me feel whole.”
- Love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).