#1 Love is selfless, attachment is selfish
When you’re in love, you focus on making the other person happy.
When you’re merely attached to someone, you’re focused upon the ways in which they can make you happy.
#2 Love is liberating, attachment is controlling
Mutual love allows you to be your true self. Your partner encourages you to be who you genuinely are and you won’t be afraid to expose your weaknesses.
Attachment, on the other hand, tends to fuel controlling behavior. You may discourage your partner from spending time with their friends, play mind games, or put an unhealthy level of focus on pleasing them. You may even try to manipulate them into staying with you regardless of their feelings.
#3 Love is mutual growth, attachment is encumbering
If you’re in love, you and your partner will grow together. When both of you work to become the best versions of yourselves, you’ll become better than you could have on your own. In short, your partner stimulates your growth, and you do the same for them.
In cases of attachment, your urge to control and your inability to solve your own problems restricts your growth as well as your partner’s. Your unresolved issues cause unnecessary dependence upon your significant other.
#4 Love is everlasting, attachment is transient
Love survives the passage of time. You and your partner may ultimately breakup, be it temporarily or permanently. If you were truly in love, however, that person will always have a place in your heart and you will continue to wish them well for the rest of their life.
If, on the other hand, you were merely attached to them, you will likely hold resentment after a breakup. You may even experience feelings of betrayal.
#5 Love is ego-reducing, attachment is ego-boosting
When in love, you become less self-centered. Your relationship serves to reduce your ego, fosters your growth, and encourages you to become less selfish and more loving.
Alternatively, relationships based on attachment are typically dominated by the ego. This is why many people repeatedly fall into a continuous stream of unsatisfying relationships, each of which involves the same, recurrent problems. You find it difficult to look within and resolve your issues.