Why Do We Get Attached to Other People?

Ava Appel

Attachment is part of human nature, but sometimes attachment gets to the point where you can’t even differentiate it from love; when it gets to this level, love becomes obsession. Starting from the beginning, it is important to ask why we get attached. Why is it so easy to get attached to another person, and become dependent on their presence and reassurance? When somebody shows us love, it releases the hormone, oxytocin. This hormone is known as the “love hormone,” and it can be extremely addicting. Not only do our minds enjoy this hormone, we as humans form a bond with another person. We feel safe, we feel wanted and this feeling eventually grows into attachment-mainly in people who are missing something from themselves. We get this feeling that someone else craves us and enjoys our presence, so we search for that feeling even more. The problem with this is, it creates an unhealthy attachment and makes us depend on another person for happiness. When you need someone else to be happy, the relationship is doomed from there; when you put all your eggs in one basket and depend your entire life around someone else, you lose yourself. 

It is important to acknowledge that in most relationships there is and should be some level of attachment, if there wasn’t, neither people in the relationship would really care about the other person. Going back to why we get attached to people, there are many reasons, some include: having an anxious attachment style, being hyper-focused on the person you are dating or simply having a big heart. Anxious-attachment styles are often formed from a traumatic event at a young age, past trauma in relationships, or parental neglect. This attachment style can cause many problems in relationships, but learning to manage the anxiety that comes with this can save your mental health and your relationships. Being hyper-focused on someone goes hand-in-hand with depending on another person for your happiness. You do whatever your partner wants and completely forget about your needs, only causing resentment later in the relationship. Some people do just have big hearts and when someone reciprocates that loving behavior they show to others, they very easily get attached. Another problem with extreme attachment is that the person getting attached completely abandons their boundaries; their mindset is that they are lucky enough to have someone love them and give them the bare minimum, that they shouldn’t set any boundaries otherwise that person might leave. Which again, ties into neglectful parents or traumatic childhood experiences that formed abandonment issues.

So what can be done? What can we do when we feel ourselves getting attached to someone and losing ourselves? You can start with seeing the signs according to the website Better Help: feeling upset or nervous when you are without your partner, you are not someone without your partner and how your partner treats you dictates your mood. Acknowledging these signs when you first see them is crucial in order to stop yourself from an unhealthy attachment. Another solution is being honest with yourself on why you feel like this in the first place. Bring up past trauma, journal, talk with a therapist; doing something to work past your own insecurities and issues will not only help your future relationships, but give you peace of mind. So when you start a new relationship or if you’re in one now, remember to not lose yourself in another person. Remember that you can’t depend on one person for all of your needs; and lastly just because someone shows you love does not mean that they will be there forever, so don’t get attached so quickly.