How Do You Know When You’re Emotionally Attached To Someone?

Updated August 9, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

When someone is feeling emotionally attached to someone else, they may feel deeply connected to that person based on their emotional bond and personal feelings. A person may feel attached to another during a relationship or after their relationship has ended. Some may have an emotional connection with another person without being in a relationship, but not realize they are falling for someone deeply. Sometimes, the emotional attachment may be unhealthy, and these emotions may lead to sadness or rejection when one realizes the other doesn't feel the same way. For some, it translates to a "need" they want from others to feel satisfied or happy, and if the feeling isn't mutual or returned, they feel down or unwanted. In this article, we’ll explore signs to look out for if you are feeling emotionally attached to someone else. 

Emotional Attachment Can Be Difficult To Navigate - Don't Do It Alone

What Is Emotional Attachment?

If you have developed a deep bond and emotional connection with someone else, that can be called emotional attachment. Understanding various aspects and styles of attachment can be important because it can influence how a relationship functions. 

If you are pursuing a relationship with someone, some forms of emotional attachment can be valuable for developing a bond, connection, or attraction among each other. You care for that person and become emotionally invested. An emotional attachment could be unhealthy when a person depends on their relationship for their emotional stability while feeling insecure, anxious, or fearful of losing their partner. 

Things To Look Out For When Feeling Attached To Someone

Having strong feelings for someone is a good start when building your relationship with someone, and it can be common to think about this person often. But if these feelings have you thinking about a person too much, feeling reliant on this connection for your emotional well-being, or leading to an obsession about them, it may signal that you've developed an unhealthy emotional attachment. Here are some possible signs of unhealthy attachment to consider:

  1. You feel you need constant communication. 

It is great to have excellent communication between each other as with any friendship or relationship, but it can be a problem when calls or messages are constant, and you expect a response immediately. Even if they are doing an important task such as being at work, you feel like you need their attention, and if you don't get it, you feel anxious, lonely, and worrisome. Also, your priorities take a back seat, and things you should be getting done are not because you're consumed in texting the person and waiting for a response.

  1. You don't disagree with the person often.

You may not feel comfortable getting the person on board with your interests, but you'll do what they want even if you don't want to. For example, you may watch something on television you don't have the interest to watch only because they want to watch it, instead of mentioning what you would prefer. People think they will be liked more if they agree to the opinions or ideas of others instead of just being themselves. You may think you're showing thoughtfulness, but it may also lead to being underappreciated.

  1. You constantly put their needs before your own.

You're ignoring your own needs and making sacrifices for them to your own detriment. The relationship becomes imbalanced, and you may be doing things that were never asked of you in the first place. Caring for the other person and doing kind things for them can be incredibly important in a relationship, but neglecting your own needs and well-being can be a concerning red flag. 

  1. You spend way less time with family and friends.

Friends may express that they don't see you as often, but you feel like you need to be with your partner at all times. It is vital to keep relationships with your family and friends intact. Spending time with them shows you value them. Plus, you need time independently away from your partner as part of a healthy relationship, which will allow you to build bonds between each other and others that are close to you. 

  1. You don't have personal interests or hobbies you like to do anymore. 

Instead of doing things you used to enjoy, you now only do activities your partner does to make them happy or please them, even if you've never particularly liked them before. While respecting and exploring your partner’s interests can be wonderful in a relationship, if it has gotten to the point where you are no longer doing any of your own things that you enjoy, it may have gone too far. 

  1. You feel incomplete without them and always want them with you.

You've lost a sense of independence and don't want to do things yourself. This can be common among people who are codependent on another person, especially if nervousness or stress sets in at the thought of you doing something alone. It is natural to want to do things with another but feeling overwhelmed at doing something that you could do on your own may be problematic. 

  1. You need constant reassurance that you're cared for or loved.

Seeking reassurance may be through asking them constantly how they feel about you. You may ask if they love you, then ask if they are sure, and ask the same question worded differently often. The reassurance may also be in the form of constant affection, and expecting the same in return. There is a sense that something is about to happen that will end relations or things will come crashing down. It may feel hard to believe someone values you, and you may feel like your worth is dependent on their reassurance. 

Tips On Managing Your Feelings

Whether you're too emotionally attached to someone you are in a relationship with or to someone you can't have because they are with someone else, there are productive ways to cope with your emotions. 

Here are suggestions on how to overcome unhealthy emotional attachments.

  1. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. Work on acknowledging and recognizing when your thoughts and feelings turn to this person. By fully recognizing them as they arise, you may be more able to release them. 

  2. Practice meditation. Learn how to create a peaceful and calm place within yourself. Meditation can be a great way to relax and reduce anxieties related to your emotions. Deep breathing exercises and yoga may also be helpful when dealing with unhealthy attachment.

  3. Get physically active. Instead of sitting and stewing with your emotions, try to get busy doing something you like to do. Consider activities you've wanted to do or used to enjoy—that could be running, rock climbing, dancing, swimming, or anything else active you might like. 

  4. Try reframing your thoughts. Try to move forward when feeling negative or let down by replacing your thoughts with positive and productive ones. Some people may find it helpful to do this through journaling. 

  5. Talk about your feelings. It can be common for people to keep such feelings to themselves but getting them out can be a step in the right direction toward managing them. It may help you gain a new perspective. Talk to someone you trust, such as a good friend, or you can seek counseling through in-person or online therapy. 

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Emotional Attachment Can Be Difficult To Navigate - Don't Do It Alone

Online Counseling Can Help

If you have concerns around your emotional attachment to someone else, consider online counseling—talking about your feelings and your experiences to a trained professional can help.

Talking about emotional attachment and concerns around unhealthy attachment may feel very personal and vulnerable for some people, and so some may prefer to discuss their concerns in a space where they already feel comfortable and at ease. With online therapy through Regain, you can meet with your therapist wherever you have internet—including the comfort of your own home. 

Plus, research has shown that online therapy can be effective for relationship concerns, with one such study concluding that an online couples therapy program significantly improved both relationship and individual functioning

Takeaway

Perhaps you feel like you’re watching your emotional attachment become unhealthy, but you don’t know what to do. There are ways to work on managing your emotions, such as acknowledging your thoughts and emotions and focusing on habits that promote your well-being. As you work on managing your feelings, you can also consider seeking additional help through online therapy.

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