Is Attachment Really Love?

The path to love doesn’t end with surrender, although in a way there is nothing more to do. The process of letting go is all that spirit needs in order to enter your life. The rest is a ripening of the union between self and Self.

There is, however, still the enormous issue of how two people can surrender to each other completely. No matter how much love you begin to feel within, you must still reflect it to your beloved. Two spiritual people living together don’t automatically make a spiritual relationship.

Therefore we want to ask in practical terms how love increases between two souls. The ego is not easily defeated in its preoccupation with everything but love.

Surrender is not achieved until you surrender completely to your beloved. To accomplish this you must relinquish everything that deprives you of love and nurture everything that comes from love.

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. It both includes and excludes.

Isn’t it love when you share your world with someone else? Shouldn’t intimate relationships be exclusive in just this way? The answer is surprising, for if you look deeper you will see that love and attachment are not the same thing.

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).


Bethany M.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you.

Ajla C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Shristi Mainali
Shristi Mainali5 years ago

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Samantha Shira
Samantha Shira5 years ago


jayasri amma
jayasri amma5 years ago

Interesting article.

Barbara K.
Barbara K6 years ago

It is my belief that the most important thing for romantic love is to respect each other. Without respect, love won't exist. Respect does not have to be earned, it is something that those who love freely give to each other. Love needs nourishment to grow, just like growing a flower. It is the culmination of a deep friendship, which must come before love happens. Each one must feel to be himself/herself and love one another unconditionally and without criticizing and judgment. Don't try to change one another, after all you fell in love with the other as he/she is. Changing would make a different person and you may no longer recognize the one you fell in love with in the first place. There are many kinds of attachments. Wanting to be with the one you deeply love is not attachment. Attachment is wanting to be with someone who would do all for you. Love is wanting to do all for the one you love. If love is true, surrender is easy. If the surrender is not easy, then the love may not be true and you should reconsider your feelings. Just relax and let love happen, or not happen. When it does happen, there is no more pleasure on Earth and you will recognize love for the love it is.

Janice L.
Janice Lawrence6 years ago

I've been wrestling with this in a relationship just recently myself.

Kanta Of Kol
Kay Bee6 years ago

I am in agreement with what Robert B. and Wildlife Matters have commented.

Healthy attachment on every level is wonderful between persons who love when they are in sync. But possessiveness and obsession that usually emanate from insecurity, makes the relationship imbalanced.

Over a period of time, when his/her tolerance levels can take it no more, the person being subjected to such possessiveness either revolts / speaks up leading to discord/break-ups. Or else bottles up if unable to express openly, leading to ill health in the long run. Initially off and on but later resulting in chronic and terminal diseases.

Thanks Deepak for telling it so well !

Bee ZZ
Past Member 6 years ago

& Thanking D.

Bee ZZ
Past Member 6 years ago

Well, obsenssion: Not Real Love.