Attachment vs. Connection

Niki Marinis

Unhealthy attachment will kill promising connection every time

Photo Art by Katie Dutch

We’ve all met someone we felt an instant connection with. Like you’d known each other a lifetime. Things just flow. You might even feel like you knew them in another life.

I hear more stories than I can count where women feel a deep connection, it fizzles, he disappears, or things just don’t work out.

When this happens women struggle to let go. Sometimes, months and even years go by and they’re still holding on to that connection they felt.

Let me tell you how long I was hung up on the long-haired musician I was in love with in high school. Seven years. Girl, I had issues.

If you’re struggling to let go as I did, it isn’t connection. It’s attachment. And it’s your attachment that likely smothered and snuffed out this once budding connection.

Connection comes from the heart. Attachment comes from the mind. You attach through your thoughts, you connect through the heart.

Attachment takes us out of the moment

When you find yourself obsessed with thoughts of the past or the future when it comes to your relationships, you’re attached.

You’re struggling to let go because you’ve chained your thoughts to the past and how good it was. The connection is gone and you’re longing for it because you feel its absence deeply.

If you’re expecting something permanent and final in your life, like an end goal of marriage, family, the perfect career, you’re future-focused. The feeling that your life won’t be complete until this certain something happens is living for something that isn’t here yet.

You can’t live like that, man. The future isn’t real. And we all know nothing is permanent. Divorce is a thing, death is legit, layoffs happen. Right here, right now is all you have.

You’re shortchanging yourself happiness if you’re waiting for everything to be locked in and perfect before you’ll allow yourself to have any. You’re chasing shadows. Good luck, Peter Pan!

When getting married or finding that one soulmate becomes a deep need for you, your focus goes to that end goal, and the ability to build a real connection is often lost.

You overthink, overanalyze, and measure each man under your microscope of “Will he fit my future plan?” The need to fill the slot in your Perfect Life Plan becomes more important than who that man actually is.

And don’t think for a second those men don’t know that’s EXACTLY what you’re doing. That they’re a means to an end, that you’re ticking off a box, that you don’t actually care about who they are, you just want your princess party and your cute baby accessories.

And maybe that’s why they’re hesitant to propose to you. Just throwing that out there. Food for thought.

This is attachment. It’s what we think a relationship should look like, how we think it should end. Expectations of how you think things should be. You’re attached to a specific idea of what your life should be like, and you look for a partner and transfer that attachment to the idea onto him.

When we focus on some mythical future outcome, or dead and gone experiences from the past, we’re not living in the moment. And we’re blocking a real, honest connection. Connection is right here, right now.

Attachment is need-based

So much relationship advice is about getting your needs met by your partner. While some needs are reasonable, with a deeply connected relationship this seems to flow with little effort.

For example, you may feel you need to see your boyfriend every day or feel he needs to call or text you several times a day. If he misses a good morning text, you panic. If a day or so goes by and you don’t see him, you freak out.

Which, girl… really? Please get a grip. Needs are one thing, neediness is another. This is neediness and you need to leave it at the door. Get a hobby and some self-esteem.

You may feel you need more time with him and find yourself communicating this need over and over, yet it’s never fulfilled.

If you have to constantly communicate your needs to your partner, maybe you’re not emotionally connected to him, but more connected to your need and the idea of a relationship. Sick sad truth: if you have a deep connection, your needs will already be met.

Many people think you connect and then get to the whole “needs” thing. Connection deepens when your needs are already being met, not the other way around.

If you were really connected, you wouldn’t feel fear and anxiety. You trust your connection when he isn’t there or within reach at all times. Alarm bells don’t ring if he doesn’t call you or can’t see you. You go on living your fabulous life and look forward to when you’ll connect again.

Attachment is selfish

Attachments come from a place of trying to fill a void. It’s an unhealthy emotional need for someone else to behave a certain way in order to make you happy.

Women who attach hard and fast are often the first to declare themselves selfless and generous. They’re the woman with the “big heart.”

Many women give too much in a relationship, thinking they’re selfless when in reality, somewhere deep inside, they’re giving in hopes of getting. It’s really a form of control.

We seek acceptance, love, and approval by doing in a relationship instead of just being. We do so much in an attempt to avoid rejection, in hopes of having our deepest needs met by someone else.

Even though it looks like we’re selfless with all our doing and giving, in unhealthy attachments it’s the total opposite. It’s all about what he can or can’t do that makes you happy.

Putting this expectation on another is selfish. When you’re coming from a place of trying to get something (a relationship), there’s no room for real connection.

The connection he once felt starts to feel like an obligation and he backs away. Then you get mad and resentful because you gave so much.

Connection is freedom

Relationships form and grow when connections flow over time without expectations or projections.

Relationships don’t create connection, connection creates relationships. Not all connections turn into relationships. Accepting this really is freeing.

Connections happen when you ditch the rules. Think of one of your best friends. You can go years without seeing each other but the connection never fades. Enjoy each connection in the moment.

Opportunities for connections are all around us if we can let go and just be. You can have intense connections when you’re alone, connecting to something bigger than yourself.

The less attachments you have, the more connections will organically flow into your life. You become more open to experiences and not outcomes.

When you experience connections without attachments, you’ve found the ultimate freedom.

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I'm an original. A Warhol. You're just a print. I like thrift store owls, true crime, and breaking hearts.

Ventura, CA

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