How to stop being emotionally attached to someone? According to psychology

By: Naveen B

It is natural to feel fearful when you have an attachment to someone or something. Of course, love is the source of any sort of attachment. It’s good right, to get attached to someone you love the most? 

But, why do we want to seek “How to stop being emotionally attached to someone?”

That is because, while some attachments lead to good mental health, others can harm it. Especially when a relationship had a tragic end.

Whatever might be the reason for such breakup or loss. When you are aware that something is going to end, let it go without resisting your emotions. Otherwise, it will negatively impact future relationships.

Also read: What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone? (7 Psychological terms and tips to stop obsessive thinking)

Regardless of your past experiences, you might constantly worry that-

“How to stop being attached to my boyfriend/girlfriend?”

 “Why do I get attached so easily?” 

“Why do I catch feelings so fast?”

How to not get attached to people?”

Also read: Why can’t I stop thinking about someone? (According to psychology)

In short, my simple psychological answer to that is – “You get attached so easily because you are a highly sensitive person and easily get emotionally attached to everything that connects to you deeply.” 

And another possible reason is that you are perhaps a lonely person who needs emotional support, caring and wants to be understood and valued as the way you dream of yourself in your head.”

Well, having those expectations is not a bad thing. But, one must know and retrieve when something is not going to stay. Instead of being stubborn and resentful.

Also read: 21 Psychological tricks to get someone to like you

Follow these insights on how to not get attached.

Before that let’s understand what is the difference between love and attachment:

Love vs Attachment


  • Love is freedom
  • Love is selfless
  • Love is powerfully balanced in every situation.
  • Love is having needs
  • Love hurts.
  • Love is understanding
  • Love is super hard at times.
  • Love is passionately curious about each other’s well-being.

Attachment: (If unhealthy)

  • Attachment is limitation
  • Attachment is self-serving
  • Attachment is being vulnerable
  • Attachment is being needy
  • Attachment destroys a person mentally, physically, and psychologically
  • Attachment is fully emotional.
  • Attachment is terribly painful when you’re apart.
  • Attachment is clueless.

Also read: If you can’t stop thinking about someone are they thinking about you?

To put the very difference between love and attachment in the words of an Author – Tenzin Palmo – She quotes “Attachment is the very opposite of love. Love says, ‘I want you to be happy.’ Attachment says, ‘I want you to make me happy.'”

This quote suggests that’s why you have to learn to let go when the time comes. But again I remind you that there is no love without an attachment. Because the very purpose of a meaningful relationship is to love and be loved. 

This means, you have to make others happy and others will make you happy in return. This phenomenon works perfectly in a healthy relationship where both partners know exactly what they suppose to do to make each other happy..

Whether it is love or attachment, if both are mutual and equal from both sides, only then, does it create a healthy and powerful way of mutual connection.

Since there is a lack of compatibility and mutual understanding, when an attachment or love comes from only one side, it adversely affects the more sensitive partner and leads to difficulty coping with that attachment.

Related Article: How to deal with someone who hurt you emotionally?

How to stop being emotionally attached to someone?


The best way to stop being emotionally attached to someone is to identify the emotion you’re feeling and decide whether it’s positive or negative.

If it’s a positive emotion, accept it and project it to communicate with your partner and fix the conflict.

If it’s a negative emotion, try to understand why you feel the way you do. And who is responsible for the whole trauma?

Also read: Psychological facts about thinking of someone (Research-based)

If things are out of your control that you cannot even give them a chance to fix, then take time to reflect, experience the pain, and move on slowly.

It’s going to be really difficult, but you don’t have any better way.

We all have to go through such tragic moments, destroy ourselves mentally, emotionally, and psychologically and earn a much better perspective on life and use the earned wisdom to choose a matured partner in the distant future.

People often are ignorant of their relationship status. They do not have any idea if they are emotionally dependent or emotionally attached or completely in love with each other and what kind of relationship attachment styles they possess.

Although all these three emotional behaviors are interconnected and included in love, they are uniquely different.

If you are seeking how to be less attached in a relationship and how to get rid of emotional attachment with your boyfriend or girlfriend-

Then, at first, bring clarity to yourself whether you are emotionally dependent or emotionally attached to a person and on what level you are connected to them.

To break that confusion,

Let’s understand –

What is Emotional Dependency?

Emotional dependency: If you are emotionally dependent, then you are relying on others, for their approval and attention to define your worth and personality or sense of identity in order to make you feel safe and secure.

Also read: 10 Psychological reasons behind why you can’t stop thinking about someone.

What is Emotional Attachment?

Emotional Attachment: If you are emotionally attached, then you may feel connected to others depending on your personal feelings.

Which means fulfilling your own needs. And often attachment is considered self-centered and may come from only one-sided as another person may not be attached or have no idea at all that you are attached to them.

Is being emotionally attached to someone bad?

If you are a girl(woman), perhaps you constantly go through a war – against your mind and emotions. Especially, when you have a misunderstanding partner.

Very often you begin to question your existence –

Am I worthy of love?

 Am I clingy and Am I too needy?

Does my boyfriend think I am annoying, so dependent, and too emotional to deal with?

Why Am I so sensitive and worried about everything?

Why am I like this and why can’t be I normal?

How to stop being attached to my boyfriend?

How to move on from a toxic relationship?

After all these experiences, Why Am I so attached to my boyfriend?

These endless questions disturb your mind forever and emotionally it’s too draining and painful to go through.

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

If you want to know valid answers for your emotional breakdown, perhaps, there is a valid scientific, psychological and biological reason behind your behavior.

In an interview, a Canadian clinical psychologist named “Dr. Jordan Peterson” stated that – according to a research study conducted on some men and women – the psychologists found that the majority of women are interested in people; whereas men are interested in things. 

So, this explains why women are emotionally more attached to men; and whereas not all, but most men don’t care what their wife/girlfriend feels because of their lack of empathy towards others. 

(Therefore, just remind yourself, that it’s a part of a woman’s biology. Instead of defending yourself and feeling low, embrace your emotions, at least save them for the right person who cherishes who you are.)

Also read: When you feel a connection with someone do they feel it too?

And if you consider yourself as –

too emotional, 

too caring, 

highly sensitive,

These all traits are related to the highly empathetic person. 

Sadly, often people with too much empathy – whether a man or woman face so many difficulties in their day-to-day lives – mainly when they are in a toxic environment. 

It’s simply because they easily absorb other people’s emotions and their negative energies as well.

These things make you vulnerable and you end up crying for each little thing. (Literally, you are a small baby in a big body. Those people who understand your nature will cherish you anyway. Actually, they are lucky to get you.)

Also read: What is it called when you care too much about what others think?(10 tips on how to not care what people think)

So, my suggestion for you is – to look for a person who is kind, protective, has the same emotional intelligence, or is intellectually matured to understand your personality.

Just be aware before allowing anyone into your life. At least to protect your mental health.

After considering some of these aspects, we can come to an understanding. 


Why emotional attachment is bad? 

“No” not at all. As humans, almost all of our lives are driven by emotions, desires, and subconscious compulsions.

It’s part of our human personality traits. Unless, it is not excessive and if you are connected to the right person, the emotional attachment can bring you a lifelong healthy relationship with your partner.


Nevertheless, some people are completely driven by objectivism with logic, and rationality can be seen as cold and have no emotions.

And others are too emotionally and sensitive even to small events. Both these extreme behaviors sometimes cause conflicts, due to a lack of compatibility and no understanding between each other. 

Also read: 10 Psychological reasons behind why you can’t stop thinking about someone.

If a person is mostly gone with logic like robots, it becomes hard for others to love him or her.

And if a person is entirely emotional, needy and then it becomes an obsession. Which eventually leads to an unhealthy attachment. Which is not at all good for both partners in a relationship.  

If you don’t deal with your feelings, it could lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and eating disorders. So, make sure you have a healthy emotional attachment style, not an unhealthy attachment.

Related Article: How to calm down anxiety?

What is an unhealthy Emotional Attachment?

As part of an unhealthy emotional attachment, one partner usually relies on the other’s emotional support completely, usually without responding in kind.

The partner who provides consistent emotional support may feel unappreciated and resentful. Though, every person doesn’t respond the same to the situation.

However, until and unless the attachment doesn’t become an obsession, it will be good for everyone.

If Somewhere, your intuition says that the particular person to whom you are attached, is not meant for you then it is time for you to realize and detach yourself completely from your life. 

Here are some tips to break your emotional attachment with the wrong person.

3 best ways to stop being emotionally attached to someone.


1. Analyze your situation from a rational and objective point of view

The first step is to detach yourself from the person and then evaluate them objectively.

Be honest and objective about the relationship and then understand that the person was not able to live up to your expectations or meet your needs.

It’s also important to realize that you are not the only victim of someone else’s mistakes, so you have nothing to feel guilty about.

The way you feel now is nothing more than a natural consequence of what somebody else has done, which you are now more or less responsible for.

The moment you start to become attached to someone, you are already emotionally entangled with them.

You are no longer able to see things objectively. The more you feed into the relationship, the more you allow yourself to get caught up in the emotions involved.

You might be trying even harder to make it work, but ultimately, your efforts will likely only serve to intensify your emotional attachment. 

When there’s a fight or an argument, it’s important that you take a step back and look at what really happened instead of getting wrapped up in the drama. 

It may not be easy, but it can be liberating when you’re no longer emotionally tied to someone who’s causing you so much unnecessary stress.

Also read: How to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you back?

2. End your relationship gracefully and walk away peacefully.

We have a tendency to be emotionally attached to people we have a relationship with, and this attachment is often stronger than the feeling of love itself.

People who are emotionally attached (or codependent) can find it difficult to detach from those they love. 

They may feel as though they’ll lose the person if they choose not to stay in the relationship, even if they know it’s not healthy. 

Sometimes they feel guilty about their decision and think they’re hurting the other person or that they’re “sabotaging” their relationships by choosing to leave.

It can be difficult for someone who has been in an emotionally abusive relationship to move on because of feelings of guilt, sadness, and fear of abandonment. 

If you’ve been in an abusive situation or unfortunately if things are not in your favor or any compatible issues between you, it’s important to break up with them, so you can feel better and find happiness again.

Don’t be afraid to back off if you feel you’ve reached a point where it’s no longer helpful for you to stay in the relationship.

 Breaking free is important because emotional dependency is harmful to both parties involved.

3. Talk to an expert or therapist. (Highly effective for your mental health)

You’re better off not being emotionally attached to someone at all, but you can’t learn how to be unattached unless you know the basics about how it works.

The good news is that people are born with the ability to be emotionally unattached, so there are no specific exercises or techniques required to become an expert at it. And you don’t have to do it alone.

You can learn about emotional detachment by talking about it with a therapist, who will likely help you recognize what triggers your attachment and show you how to stop feeling that way. 

Or if you prefer, you can learn by observing other people in situations that trigger your emotions, which will help you recognize the things that trigger them for yourself.

How to practice non attachment?


 You can practice non-attachment by being conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Work on yourself to let go of what is not meant for you. Just become who you are supposed to be by not being attached to material objects. Ultimately the more you are attuned to who you are, the more fulfilling your life will be.

Follow this additional to-do list to practice non-attachment.

  • Realize your self-worth, before allowing someone into your life.
  • Improve your self-esteem so that you can be confident 
  • Understand that personal growth is a lonely path. None can help you but yourself.
  • Focus on becoming an independent person emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Once you have developed a strong personality, the right people will get attracted to you.
  • To practice non-attachment, at first, you begin to practice self-discipline, and self-care and focus on creating an open mindset.
  • Do not expect happiness from external sources and do not allow external environments to control your moods.
  • Just be observant of all the things that happen to you, then choose what’s best for you for your inner peace.

Final thoughts

Needless to mention, all these tips on how to stop being emotionally attached to someone are easier said than done. However, each one of us has different personalities, genes, experiences, and temperaments.

Perhaps “How to not get attached to people?” is the wrong question. Just take time to think about it before deciding and alienating yourself from the people who matter to you. Begin to separate your emotions and logic.

Balance them with your intuition. Listen to your core rather than going with an emotional heart and a rational mind.

All these things play an important role in how we respond to the events that occur in our lives.

But, those things should not control you to be happy and who you are meant to be. I hope, you will have a get into your normal days again soon. Good luck.

Related Article: How to express love using 4 love languages?

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Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry. His expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few. To be updated with his latest work, connect with him by following his social media accounts.

3 thoughts on “How to stop being emotionally attached to someone? According to psychology”

  1. This article is so good. It made my feelings feel really validated and gave me a peace of mind. I feel as though I have a clearer mind and a path to follow in regards my emotional dependency. Thank you to the writer and their mind and heart.


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