Why am I so attached to someone I barely know?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Why am I so attached to someone I barely know? We are going to discover how to eliminate emotional attachment so that you take into account some key aspects that will help you in this situation. Healthy relationships are the ones that bring more happiness and connection.

Here’s why do we become attached to someone we barely know

The most common type of connection is between people, which, of course, comes with the time spent with a certain person. We attach to the simple presence, to the way we feel, to moments and memories. We attach to the places where we have found happiness, peace, reconciliation, which make us think of someone dear or a beautiful period of life. 

And yet, our souls do so in such a way that we become most attached to those around us. Whether it lasts three months or a week, the attachment gradually increases. From the moment we meet a person for the first time, a connection is formed that may or may not evolve, but it exists and goes in a certain direction. 

As I see it, attachment occurs when you want more and more often to enjoy the presence of that person, from a coffee from time to time to daily meetings. When you know that someone cares about you as much as you do, you have a kind of balance, the feeling that you receive what you offer, emotional stability.

But the problem among people is that most of the time, the attachment is temporary. And when the love of a person you cherish disappears, you can almost feel your heart breaking.  As great as the fulfilment felt before, so difficult is it to describe the feeling that follows after a loved one walks away.

In fact, it’s a tumult of heartbreaking feelings and sensations: you think about what happened, you start blaming yourself and wondering where you went wrong. Then comes longing, the need to replace, and the awareness that nothing can be the same. And finally, the “I have to get over it.”

Emotional attachment

One of the easiest “traps” to fall when we are in a relationship (whether as a couple, friendship or family) is emotional attachment. It is the dependency that is created between two people and that makes us not be 100% independent. 

Our happiness does not depend, then, on ourselves, but will be highly dependent on the relationship we have with that other person. It can be a double-edged sword, especially if we talk about a relationship environment because, if the relationship ends, we can feel empty and depressed. 

Emotional dependence on the partner is a natural state that is generated in any relationship of affection. Whenever there is an emotional bond, we will develop a state of emotional dependency towards that person. 

It is something that the human being has acquired since childhood as a subsistence mechanism, firstly with parents and parents and later with all those people with whom an affective bond is generated. The human being needs security in the love of attachment relationships, this favours the bonding, protection, security and self-esteem of the members of the relationship.

However, when a person has developed insecure relationships in early stages, with parents or siblings it can generate an insecure mental scheme in romantic relationships that facilitates an increase in the degree of emotional dependence when these are established. When this degree of emotional dependence is high and dysfunctional, that is, instead of ensuring the relationship hinders it, we talk about the problem of emotional dependence.

Emotional attachment, also known as affective attachment, is the one that implies a dependency in your relationships, be it as a couple, social or family. It can become a problem and it is important that you learn to identify it and get out of such situations.

You might also worry why am i so attracted to him, even if you don’t know the guy so well or just recently met him.

The difference between attachment and love

Attachment cannot be confused with love, both concepts are completely different but can be easily confused. 

Emotional dependency is a problem because it can lead to annulment as a person. It is very common that the “attached” ends up leaving his life aside, giving up his way of being, his hobbies, his tastes or his circle of friends to follow the other. 

The worst thing is not that he is, but that he is not even aware that he is doing it. He justifies that dependence by hiding himself in love, in infatuation, but deep down he is aware that he is not happy. He has given up everything to fight for a relationship that does not make him grow.

Has it ever happened to you? It is likely that you have lived it and you have not even realized it, or that you have identified it with the passage of time. Emotional attachment arises out of fear, manipulation, and insecurity.

Fear can manifest itself in many ways, one of them being the fear of losing the other or of being left alone. Yes, that’s right, there are many people who fear loneliness, when actually being alone can allow you to find yourself.

That fear that you feel that your partner rejects or abandons you, makes you give up being yourself to please him. The same goes for fear of loneliness. You do whatever it takes to make it work because you feel a real panic about being alone. 

And the only thing you get is to lose yourself, cancel yourself as a person and stop valuing yourself. Emotional attachment destroys self-esteem and self-confidence.

Read our guide on how to deal with loneliness.

What are the main symptoms of emotional dependency?

When there is an emotional attachment, you idealize the other. You don’t see its flaws and you overestimate its virtues. You are also very afraid, even panicked, of being rejected or abandoned, which translates into possessive attitudes, jealousy and great insecurity in you. That fear increases because you don’t want to be alone and you cling to your partner.

“Attached” people have low self-esteem, they are insecure. Her source of self-love is the relationship itself, which is not even healthy. Furthermore, their self-esteem decreases as their submissive attitude increases. They need so much to please and satisfy the other that in the end, they feel incapable of making decisions, they don’t even know what they like because they have long since given up on being themselves.

As we have explained to you, emotional dependents follow a similar pattern in all their relationships. Therefore, the root of the problem, many times, is not the relationship itself, but it would be necessary to search in “the attached” to find out the cause. You may have an emotional deficiency, lack of affection, low self-esteem, or too high expectations in relationships.

The consequences of emotional attachment

Emotional dependence has a series of consequences, both psychological and social. Your relationships end up being unstable as you enter a kind of circle of breakups and reconciliations that lead you nowhere and does not allow you to move forward.

On the other hand, you have lost yourself so much and you have idealized the relationship or the person so much that you feel unsatisfied and frustrated. The relationship itself is a source of pain because you feel fear and anguish of losing the other. And that fear is heightened by the fear you feel of being alone.

In parallel, your self-esteem is plummeting since the submission you develop annihilates your self-esteem. You feel unimportant, undervalued and secondary. You feel that way because the first one that is not valued is you.

For the aforementioned effects, it is worth adding the anxiety you begin to experience. It is a constant in your relationship because you feel lost to any separation. There are extreme cases where you can’t even bear the thought of going to work. You feel continually threatened and endangered.

Looping thoughts go wild in your mind. You do not know if he will meet someone if he does not answer your call because he is with another person and those jealousies or worries trigger possessive and overwhelming attitudes on your part.

In the end, the attachment leads you to move away from yours or you try to move your partner away from their social or family circle. You have put aside your hobbies, your tastes and your activities. You have abandoned everything to please the other person and have a submissive attitude. 

Your whole life revolves around the relationship and your partner, so when it breaks you feel completely lost. You feel dejected, unable to resume your routines and your entire life freezes.

As you can see, emotional dependency leads to toxic relationships that recur over and over again if you don’t put a stop to it. The first step begins with you, if you are the “attached”, because only then will you be able to build strong self-esteem that will help you develop healthy relationships in which you grow as a person as the bond that unites you is strengthened.

Tips for overcoming emotional attachment

Identify and recognize the problem

When in your relationship with your partner you experience symptoms like those described below in a significant and painful way in your life, you will have to realize that you are possibly experiencing an emotional dependency problem:

  • Obsessive need for closeness. At all times you want to be with your partner, you can not stand the physical distance, much less the psychic (that your partner does not pay attention to you).
  • Continuous feeling of the need of the other. For as long as you are with your partner, it is never enough, you are always missing something.
  • Ongoing insecurity about the future. You are never calm about the future of the relationship. You always have a state of alert with fear that your wonderful relationship will end.
  • Feeling of not deserving or living up to your partner. Continuous feeling of being below the partner, not deserving it and having been extremely lucky that your partner is with you. But as much as I am with you do not get rid of the feeling of “I do not deserve this relationship.”
  • Fear of heartbreak. It is something that haunts you. You have the feeling that this wonderful thing cannot be true and it has to end. Any day you can find that this dream is over and they will abandon you.
  • Lack of personal reaffirmation, of showing your own tastes and needs. Loss of your own nature, depersonalization, complacency and adaptation to all the tastes and needs of the couple and loss of consciousness of your desires and needs, much less their expression if that means frustrating your partner.

Identify your attachment behaviours

In each small behaviour that you perform of emotional dependence you are becoming more addicted to your partner, therefore, we have to identify all those behaviours and then dare to abandon them.

These behaviours are security mechanisms that you use to strengthen your relationship with your partner. Below you can see a list of dependent behaviours, but not all are logically possible, and you should identify all those that are not reflected in the following list to expand it:

  • I don’t dare to contradict my partner’s tastes even if they don’t seem right to me.
  • I do not dare to take initiatives with my partner for fear that they do not like them.
  • I do not dare to express my opinions for fear of upsetting my partner or appearing unintelligent (skilful, decisive, etc.).
  • I do not dare to ask my partner about her feelings about me, what an answer I do not like.
  • Whenever possible I want to be with my partner. Any free time is to be together.
  • Any activity that I do with other people in the time that I can be with my partner seems boring, monotonous and a waste of time of what I really want and is to be with my partner.
  • If my partner doesn’t pay attention to me, I think he doesn’t love me anymore.
  • I never argue or fight, I adapt to everything my partner wants.
  • I forgive his mistakes and I can’t bear mine.
  • I stay away from my friends if they mean separating me even for a short time from my partner.
  • I think again and again about issues related to my partner.
  • I hide my negative emotional states (for example, grief or anger) for fear of upsetting my partner.
  • I excessively keep a good image of my partner before all my surroundings, family and friends.

Behaviours to develop to overcome emotional attachment

Tackle the fear of losing your partner:

Once these dependency behaviours have been identified so as not to lose your partner, you must dare to completely eliminate them from your behaviours. You will inevitably experience that as the loss of your partner, although this is not the case, quite the opposite since you are beginning to be more independent, more you, and therefore, more interesting and attractive to your partner. 

If, for example, you dare to show your feelings more even if you think that your partner is not going to like them, you are daring to “lose” them a little, to “not like”, to “pass” a little of their opinion on you. This, although it scares you, will strengthen you. After the first moment of fear and insecurity, you come closer to experiencing a feeling of greater confidence and security in yourself.

Become more “selfish” (assertive). Recognize and express your needs:

Yes, more selfishness in your love relationship, that is, put yourself in the foreground of the relationship. Do not be afraid to become a hard, selfish and insensitive person, if you are an emotionally dependent person you will never be that way but if you dare to be less accommodating and fight for your tastes and needs you will have a more assertive and balanced behaviour in your relationships.

 You will be taking the antidote to the poison of your complacency and servility in relationships. Therefore, take the list of your dependency behaviours and dare to do just the opposite of what you have been doing. For example, if you did not dare to contradict the tastes of your partner, now dare to show your tastes and desires and fight to convince your partner to carry them out.

Practice physical distancing:

To strengthen your autonomy, the physical distance will be especially useful for a few hours or if possible, some days. When there is a picture of emotional dependency, temporary loss of contact will facilitate imaginary exposure to the loss. We will experience the emptiness of the couple’s absence. 

By accepting this imaginary “loss” as our great fear, we will strengthen ourselves and we will experience feelings of greater autonomy and independence. We will need time for this. But finally, we can even enjoy the activities we do without having the feeling of lack or absence of the loved one.

Focus on the strong themes of your life:

If your strength is work, and there you have good reasons to raise your self-esteem, dedicate yourself especially to this and the achievements you can achieve. If it is social relationships, pay more attention to them to strengthen your self-esteem. You can do the same with sport, body care (for yourself), travel, reading, family, spirituality, science, etc.

Develop your emotional intelligence:

What you are doing with this reading is precisely this to develop your emotional intelligence. Understand yourself better, understand your problems and seek solutions to improve your emotional life. 

Learn to facilitate the expression of your emotions, the overcoming of fears and emotional addictions that have caused you great suffering and raise new emotions of tranquillity and serenity to feel more comfortable with you and your partner. 

You must also develop a better understanding of how your emotional changes provoke positive emotional reactions in your partner. This will give you the confidence and security you need.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know?

When you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know it may mean that you have strong feelings towards them, which may be positive or negative, and they have struck some chord inside you that is keeping them on your mind.

Not being able to stop thinking about someone even when you barely know them can imply that you felt a certain kinship with them, and this feeling of association you felt with the person may be the reason you just can’t get them out of your mind.

We also feel like we can’t stop thinking about someone we barely know when we are actively trying to stop thinking about them, because as everyone knows the more you try not to think about something the more that image or thought goes around in our heads.

Another reason why you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know may be because you are thinking of where that relationship could lead, rather than what the person is actually like or what role they would play.

According to this reasoning, you may be unable to stop thinking about someone you barely know because you aren’t really thinking about them, but about what you could find with them, something which experts agree to as well.

Relationship expert Paul Bashea Williams says “People become married to the potential of having something long-term, It isn’t necessarily about the specific person they just met, it’s about the relationship status they had expectations of gaining. They had plans which included anyone who didn’t look like their past and fit the mold of what they wanted for the future.”

Why am I Obsessed With Someone I Barely Know?

You may be obsessed with someone you barely know because you want to know more about them, and you may find that the less you know about someone the more you may be obsessed with them, because we crave information about whatever we are interested in.

People tend to get obsessed with someone they barely know precisely because they barely know them, and when someone about whom you have no information catches your interest in the slightest way, you may find yourself obsessing about what else you can find out about them.

You may also be obsessed with someone you barely know because you are obsessed with the idea of a future with them, or because you envision a relationship of some sort with the person, even if you barely know them.

Whatever the reason for you being obsessed with someone you barely know, it is not healthy to think about something or someone to the point of being obsessive, or neglecting other things you should be thinking about or even doing, because you essentially end up obsessing to the point that you either make a mistake or scare the person away.

The best thing to do is that instead of being obsessed with someone you barely know, you should try to find out more about them by asking them out or just hanging out with them, because more information can often take you from the nervous and high-strung state of obsession to a healthier place.

Why do I Get Attached So Easily? Psychology Based Reasons

According to psychology and attachment theories, you might get attached so easily because you have an anxious type of attachment style, that makes you feel negative emotions when you are not attached to someone or when you feel like you might get abandoned.

Many studies in psychology have tried to explain why someone might get attached so easily, and one such example may come from a large-scale analysis by Tianyuan Li and Darius Change of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in 2012, which showed some interesting findings about why people might get attached so easily.

They studied the attachment style and relationship quality data from 73 studies covering more than 21,000 individuals, and finally they achieved the results that people who are high on avoidant attachment have poorer quality relationships overall, and this persisted on multiple measures of satisfaction, general connectedness, or support, and it was seen that avoidant come out lower on nearly all measures of relationship quality. 

While the result is not entirely surprising given that the avoidant attachment style leads the person to strive to avoid getting close to others and when they are in a relationship, they constantly seek to maintain their independence. 

How to Stop Being Attached to Someone?

To stop being attached to someone you may try the following tips:

  • Recognise harshness towards self as a form of emotional cruelty.
  • Focus on your career 
  • Focus on your friends and other people in your life
  • Engage in kindness towards strangers.
  • Be responsible for your own happiness. 
  • Practise loving self-parenting. 
  • Practise being there for yourself more often. Really get to know your vulnerable self.
  • Let go of attachments by focusing on gentle, deep breathing. 

The best way to stop being attached to someone, whether it is after a messy breakup or after losing someone, or maybe even after a divorce or separation, is to start focusing on yourself first and foremost.

Most theories of attachment say the same thing about how to stop being attached to someone, and that is to first be at peace with who you are happy with who you are, because unless you do that you will not be able to reach out to anyone else.

When you want to stop being attached to someone you also have to stop being attached to the person you were with them, which is why it is so important to bring about some change in how you do things and how you perceive situations in your life, because without it you might find yourself slipping back into the same patterns.

Getting Attached to Someone Too Quickly

Getting attached to someone too quickly can mostly mean that the person does not like to be alone at all, and may need support and affection fairly frequently, but it may also mean that they have a fear of abandonment which they treat inadvertently with quick attachment.

Getting attached to someone too quickly can mean fear of abandonment because they may feel perpetual feelings of emptiness which make them seek interpersonal relationships to alleviate this feeling, and to keep avoiding this feelings of emptiness people may often jump into attachment or relationships too quickly.

Getting too attached to someone too quickly can be detrimental to the relationship, even in the early stages, because often you may talk and act like you are much farther emotionally than you actually are, which may make the other person uncomfortable and even make them leave.

When someone leaves a relationship because the person they were with got attached too quickly, it can leave the partner feeling heartbroken and dejected, which leads to the fears of abandonment deepening, instead of alleviating, which is what would truly stop the cycle of getting too attached to people, and go away for good.

This is the problem in cases where the person keeps getting attached too quickly when their relationships don’t work out, and they may also find that they keep getting attached to people they barely know because they are just constantly looking out for possibilities of all their problems going away with that one miracle relationship.

However, even in these cases, when the person does finally find a relationship which sticks, and they keep themselves from getting attached too quickly, their fear of abandonment may show up at some point anyway, and it may wreck the relationship later and for a different reason other than getting attached too easily.

When You Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone : Psychology

When you can’t stop thinking about someone, psychology and attachment theories would define it as a sign that you are attracted to that person and you probably want to know more about them, but if it gets out of hand it can wreak havoc on your psychological well-being and lead to difficult situations.

When you can’t stop thinking about someone because you just started dating them it can be quite nice, in most cases, because it can mean that you are just really attached to them already and you want to be around them all the time, and even psychology says that it may be because you want to know more about them and soend more time together.

Additionally, psychological theories also say that when you can’t stop thinking about someone it may also be because your emotions are getting in the way of your cognition, and you are in the process of creating memories about this new person you like so much, so your brain just can’t get them out of the way.

Furthermore, you may also find that you think about the person more and more when you feel more attached to them, which may increase how much you think about them.

Is Being Emotionally Attached to Someone Bad?

No, being emotionally attached to someone is not bad, on the contrary it is healthy and right to be emotionally attached to those outside of your family, but there can be some situations where being too emotionally attached to someone may be bad, especially if it keeps you from being rational and practical.

Some people tend to get excessively emotionally attached to someone, and this can be bad because it may color their view and make them agree with, or approve of, just about anything the person does, even if that person is wrong.

Other cases where being emotionally attached to someone is bad may be where you get so attached that you start forgetting what you need and start putting someone else ahead of you all the time, even if they are not treating you well.

Being emotionally attached to someone may not be bad when the other person is just as attached to you, and even if they are not, if they are respectful of the fact that you are attached to them, it can be very satisfying, because human beings are built to be attached to others around them and when they have this need satisfied it can be very good for psychological well-being.

Why do we get attached to someone?

We get attached to someone when we want companionship, or because we are social beings who evolved as a pack species, meaning that we are generally at our best when surrounded by family and loved ones.

When we get attached to someone it is because we need to be around someone who shares the same beliefs that we do, or has the same aspirations in life that we do, and we need someone to share in our experiences.

Evolution dictates that we have a need to be surrounded because the early man hunted as part of a pack, and there was safety in numbers, which is the same principle that has come down to us getting attached to someone because we need partnership, even if there is no hunting involved anymore.

Lastly, some people also get attached to someone because they have not experienced attachment in their childhood and they feel the need to feel the affection and joy they should have felt as a child, and they seek attachment for it in their adulthood.

FAQ on Why am I so attached to someone I barely know

Why am I drawn to someone I barely know?

You are drawn to someone you barely know because you are a human being who has feelings, needs and wants. You are drawn to someone who you find attractive and with whom you would like to spend more time with.  

What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know?

When you can’t stop thinking about someone you barely know, it may be a sign of attachment issues. One of the easiest “traps” to fall when we are in a relationship (whether as a couple, friendship or family) is emotional attachment. It is the dependency that is created between two people and that makes us not be 100% independent. 

Can you be in love with someone you barely know?

Yes, you can be in love with someone you barely know. However, most of the time, this is a result of our own projections and fantasies. Anyone can fall in love, but true love means getting to know who the other person is – which can happen even in years. 

How do I stop being emotionally attached to someone?

To stop being emotionally attached to someone you have to start putting yourself first. Focus on your own wellbeing, wishes, on your personal and professional development. 

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: Why am I so attached to someone I barely know? We helped you discover how to eliminate emotional attachment so that you take into account some key aspects that will help you in this situation. 

In each small behaviour that you perform of emotional dependence you are becoming more addicted to your partner, therefore, we have to identify all those behaviours and then dare to abandon them. These behaviours are security mechanisms that you use to strengthen your relationship with your partner. 

Learn to facilitate the expression of your emotions, the overcoming of fears and emotional addictions that have caused you great suffering and raise new emotions of tranquillity and serenity to feel more comfortable with you and your partner. 

You must also develop a better understanding of how your emotional changes provoke positive emotional reactions in your partner. This will give you the confidence and security you need.

If you have any comments or questions on the content, please let us know!

Further reading

Attached: Are you Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the science of adult attachment can help you find – and keep – love, by Amir Levine 

Attachments: Is there such a thing as love before first sight? The romantic comedy we all need to read in 2020, by Rainbow Rowell  

Attachment in Psychotherapy, by David J. Wallin 

The Simple Guide to Attachment Difficulties in Children: What They Are and How to Help (Simple Guides), by Betsy de Thierry

What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues

Relationship counselling

  • If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.

LGBTQ issues

If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.

References

Talkspace.com – When Does Emotional Attachment Become Unhealthy?

Study.com – Emotional Attachment Disorder

Helpguide.org – How the Attachment Bond Shapes Adult Relationships

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