6 Signs You’re Overly Attached To Someone

Do you know the difference between love and attachment? Although attachment plays an important role in our ability to connect with others, it’s important to understand that it’s not the same as love. Clinical psychologist Dr. Alexander Draghici defines emotional attachment as a feeling of closeness that helps sustain relationships over time. And if your attachment is healthy and meaningful, it will gradually become love.

There is, however, a thin line between healthy and unhealthy emotional attachment. And being too attached towards someone certainly falls in the latter, says clinical social worker Sasha Jackson. With that said, here are 6 psychology-backed warning signs that you’re overly attached to someone:


Do you often fantasize about a future together with this person so soon after just meeting? Or find yourself romanticizing everything they do? This behavior is known as idealization, and according to clinical psychologist Dr. Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, it’s a maladaptive way of coping with an anxious or unhealthy attachment towards someone. This is problematic because not only are you burdening this person with unrealistically high expectations they can’t possibly live up to, you may also be ignoring or excusing their red flags and choosing to see only what you want to see in them.

Avoiding being alone

Another tell-tale sign of overattachment, says clinical social worker Sasha Jackson, is the tendency to seek out relationships just to avoid being alone. So if you often jump from one partner to another because you don’t know how to be single, then that’s already a red flag. Because that increases the likelihood of you staying in unfulfilling or unhealthy relationships simply out of a fear of abandonment and a need for external validation — which brings us to our next point!

Constant validation

In a Healthline article written by mental health journalist Crystal Raypole and medically reviewed by therapist Dr. Jennifer Litner, relying on another person for their approval and needing their constant reassurance is considered a manifestation of unhealthy overattachment. Often the result of struggles with self-validation, defining your worth by your relationship and constantly needing reassurance from your partner that you are loved and cared for can destroy your self-esteem and lead you to be easily manipulated, never disagree with them, and emotionally unstable. 

Weak sense of self

Similar to our earlier point, another characteristic of being overly attached to someone is having a weak sense of self. In the same Healthline article by Raypole and Dr. Litner, they talk about how this can manifest as changing one’s habits, interests, behaviors, and goals to align more with theirs; spending more time with their friends and family over our own; abandoning our own boundaries and personal needs for them; and committing all of our time, energy, and resources to the relationship. 

Inability to function

When you’re overly attached to someone, says psychologist Dr. Konstantin Lukin, you’re constantly thinking and talking about them. You need to be in constant communication with them, because you feel anxious or worried when you’re enot. And when they’re not around, you don’t know what to do with yourself. You feel incomplete without them and always want them with you. Although it may sound romantic to some, taken to an extreme, it can be destructive to our sense of autonomy, independence, and overall sense of self.

Unbalanced dynamics

According to Dr. Lukin, having unbalanced power dynamics in a relationship is a sign of an unhealthy emotional attachment. Because when one person takes much more than they give (be it time, effort, considderation, or attention), it can cause problems like codependency and emotional burnout. Examples of unbalanced dynamics include: giving more support than you’re getting, constantly putting their needs before your own, having to fix their problems for them, spending more time attending to their emotional needs more than your own, and not having time for personal interests, hobbies, or other relationships anymore. 

So, what are your thoughts on this video? Do you see any of these signs in yourself or resonate with what we’ve talked about here? Recognizing unhealthy attachment behaviors in ourselves is the first step towards healing and positive change. So even if you answered yes, don’t get too down on yourself about it. 

Take this as an invitation to look inside of yourself and reflect on your underlying needs and beliefs about yourself and your relationships, and how they may manifest as unhealthy attachment behaviors. If you discover that you have attachment trauma you want to work out, reach out to a mental health care professional today.

Let us know which signs resonate with you the most in the comments down below. ‘Til next time, psych2goers, and remember: you matter.


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