Love Without Attachment is a Foolish Myth

I have the utmost respect for certain principles of non-attachment, but, practicing detachment, while a wonderful, stress-relieving, disappointment-avoiding concept, in matters if the heart is a recipe for disaster. Because when you love someone, regardless of the kind of love it is, there will ALWAYS be some accountability, some expectations, or at least feelings of need attached to your loved one. Even in the healthiest (what’s the true gauge for that, anyway) relationships, there are some needs which must be met by both parties in order to feel a sense of safety.

Everyone needs to feel a sense of belonging. It’s not about ownership (shudder,) but that feeling of being safe to open one’s heart and show your insides to another human being is crucial. It builds trust, and trust is the cornerstone of love, along with respect. Yes, we shouldn’t have to cling desperately to another person in order to fulfill our every need, that’s what puppies, chocolate, best friends and therapists are for. But we do need to know that the person we love isn’t gonna screw us over tomorrow, or ditch us for an ‘upgrade.’ Because the grass isn’t greener, and buying into the belief that we should freely ‘let go’ of the need to call someone out on their behavior when they’re not honoring the relationship they ‘freely’ entered into is codswallop. A relationship is a kind of soul contract, whether it’s for a few years or a lifetime, and it should therefore be treated as the sacred thing that it is.

I would actually argue that it’s better to practice attachment, within reason of course. Because when we do, we realize the value of not throwing something away on a whim, the value of taking the time to really learn what makes someone tick before assessing their ‘relationship score.’ Because even when we THINK we know someone, we peel back yet another layer, and discover even more surprises before we get to the gooey insides if we bother to stick around.

So many are in a rush to move on to something better, they forget the importance of holding someone’s heart in their hands. It’s too easy to just ‘go with the flow,’ and ‘follow your feelings’ instead of considering someone else’s. And so often you end up with buyer’s remorse later. Why? Because feelings can be dirty liars. Feelings are not a good indicator of whether a person is right for us or not. Feelings are often based on past experience, which usually isn’t so hot (otherwise we’d still BE in the past, wouldn’t we?) Feelings are not what make a great relationship. Trust, honesty, respect, seeing someone, both inside and out, in every possible situation, healthy distance, mutual giving and receiving of love, pleasure, attention, open communication, humor- these are all components of a great relationship. Notice I didn’t say anything about ‘feelings?’

Because what you are doing when entering into a relationship is putting your heart in someone else’s hands, and trusting that they won’t drop kick it on their way out to to na na land, (one-way ticket,) so you’d better be damn sure of what you want before even opening that door.

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