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You meet someone and they (almost instantly) become your whole world, except you are the person who gives and gives and gives some more. The other person may reciprocate to some extent, or they may just do the taking.
Perhaps that person ends up not meeting your expectations when you realize you became attached to them way too soon?
This sounds familiar, right?
Then you may suspect you have attachment issues, and more specifically, you get attached too quickly and easily. It’s like you are an octopus, wrapping your tentacles around the other person and holding on for dear life soon after meeting them.
You may wonder, “why do I get attached so easily?” Because while some relationships and friendships may work out when you attach quickly to the right (and safe) person, most often, you get attached and the relationship is unequal, unbalanced, and toxic.
But just why do you get attached to someone so easily? Let’s have a look.
What Does It Mean to Be Attached to Someone?
Being attached to someone means that you really like them and you feel deeply connected to the person.
You form an emotional bond to that person because they provide a sense of validation, affection, belonging, reliability, safety, comfort, and protection.
Attachment is an essential part of human connection because it helps us sustain meaningful relationships. It’s also critical to our overall well-being.
The earliest forms of attachment you experience is with your parents, family, and caregivers.
These bonds shape and guide the attachments you develop from toddlerhood with your folks and family members, and then later in life with friends, colleagues, mentors, romantic partners, and (your) children.
How Do I Know I Get Attached Too Easily?
If you form attachments to other people too easily and quickly, you probably know you tend to do this. But you may also not be sure.
Here are a few ways to tell if you get attached too easily:
What is Healthy Attachment?
Healthy attachment, also called secure attachment according to attachment theory, is the ability to build and sustain healthy relationships with others.
Signs of a healthy attachment style are when you:
You feel secure and comfortable in a healthy relationship.
11 Reasons and Solutions for Why Do I Get Attached So Easily?
There are various reasons why you get attached too easily to another person.
I’ve also included solutions to help you deal with your unhealthy attachment style so you can connect with others in a way that’s suitable for who that person is in your life.
For example, you should not feel as if the receptionist at your doctor’s office is your best friend when you only talk to her when you need to make an appointment (but then you overshare and feel emotionally attached).
Here are the 11 most common reasons why you become attached too easily:
1. Childhood Abandonment Issues
One reason for why you easily get attached to someone is because you have child abandonment issues.
At least one of your parents or primary caregivers were not there when you needed them. Maybe they were late picking you up from school, they didn’t attend your baseball games, or they never provided for you in some way.
If you feel you’ve been abandoned as a child, it’s possible that as a teenager or adult you try to pull people toward you and then you feel scared of letting go so you do everything in your power to keep them.
How to heal from child abandonment:
Realize that you are an adult with resources; you aren’t a helpless child anymore. You have everything you need to survive and thrive – and that starts with you. You make your own decisions, and you have to start showing up for yourself.
So do that. Find a mental health professional to help you deal with your abandonment issues and work on healing your inner child wounds.
2. An Insecure Attachment Style
The overarching reason for getting attached too easily is having an insecure attachment style.
This style can be subcategorized into avoidant attachment, anxious attachment, and disorganized attachment, but it’s likely that you either have:
How to deal with an insecure attachment style:
While you can work with a therapist or psychologist when you have an insecure or unhealthy attachment style, you can also work on connecting to yourself, practicing self-care, and clearly communicating your needs.
3. Can’t Be Single
Lots of people attach easily and quickly to others because they just can’t be single. They are like serial daters, always connecting and latching on to the next romantic partner before the breakup is finalized or the bedsheets have been washed.
They may also think that they are looking for “The One,” so they feel super excited when they meet someone new because that person could be their soulmate.
But whether you can’t be single or you feel like each romantic partner is Mr. or Mrs. Right, planning a future together too soon or jumping from one relationship to the next is dangerous. It opens you up to extra hurt and disappointment.
How to learn to date yourself and be okay with being single:
It’s essential to learn to love your own company so take a break from dating others and date yourself.
Partner with yourself for a change by dressing up and going to your favorite restaurant, traveling and exploring your city or the world, attending a movie by yourself (and you get to enjoy all the snacks!), and treat yourself.
4. Feel Lonely
Many people who attach easily also just can’t be alone. They can’t be home alone and spend time with themselves, they can’t work in an office alone (or remotely) and focus, and they can’t do solo hobbies.
They always need someone around them to keep them company and prevent them from feeling lonely, disconnected, or isolated.
So, they attach to anyone and everyone to always have company. That goes for colleagues, clients, their managers, or anyone who can be a friend or romantic partner.
They cling to that person, whether the relationship or friendship is healthy or whether they even know the person well enough to attach.
How to get over feeling lonely:
It’s essential to take small steps to get over feeling lonely. While you can surround yourself with people, you need to start cutting back on that. When you have an hour, a day, or weekend to spend by yourself, plan that time so you have something to look forward to.
Try new hobbies and activities you’ve always wanted to do, find an addictive series on Netflix, or take up journaling so you can get to know yourself, love yourself, and realize that being in your own company is not just okay but actually good for you.
5. Love to Be Love-Bombed
Another reason you attach quickly to someone is because they are love-bombing you, showering you with contact affection and attention (usually early on in the relationship or friendship because they want you to become attached to them).
Narcissists usually love-bomb their victims to manipulate them because they need someone who is dependent on them.
It probably feels great when you are being love-bombed, especially at first when you are unaware of the manipulation and gaslighting tactics.
How to be okay with not being love-bombed all the time:
The saying “if something is too good to be true, it usually is” comes to mind. I’d just add that you should run in that case.
So, learn to not just cave in and become attached when you get too much attention and affection, especially if that person is someone you have just met or don’t know very well.
While you shouldn’t suspect every person of having nefarious intentions toward you, it’s good to exercise caution.
So, stop and pause. Consider why the person is love-bombing you and what they want.
Proceed with caution, take things slow, and maintain an emotional distance until you know them better and know they are healthy or not toxic to you. Or, leave and run for the hills.
6. Have a Low Self-Esteem and Are Insecure
When you have low self-esteem and feel insecure, it’s very possible that you have an unhealthy attachment style.
You look for approval and validation from others because you don’t believe you are enough. You may also think that you need to work extra hard to get people to like or love you.
Any bit of attention is a badge of validation for you.
So, you attach to anyone in the hopes that they will make you feel better about yourself. Yet, you are so insecure that whenever the validation you get isn’t fulfilling or is lacking, you simply attach to the next person.
How to improve your self-esteem and deal with insecurities:
To form healthy attachments to people, it’s crucial to work on your insecurities and self-esteem. Other people cannot determine your self-worth – only you can.
To build your self-esteem, list your strengths and the things you love about yourself, stop comparing yourself to others, practice positive thinking and positive self-talk, and let go of toxic people so you can surround yourself with an inner circle who loves you for you.
7. Rely on Others to Make You Happy
Happiness comes from within. You create your own happiness because it doesn’t exist out there in the world for you to look for and find. And it certainly doesn’t exist solely in being with other people.
But when you depend on others to make you happy (because you lack creating happiness for yourself), it’s very possible that you become attached too easily and way too quickly.
You believe that it is other people’s responsibility to make you happy, and when they do something you don't like or that upsets you, you feel like it’s their fault.
They now have power over you because their actions (and inactions) affect you so greatly, and this sets unrealistic expectations which is a recipe for disaster, whether you are attached to a friend, family member, or romantic partner.
How to realize happiness comes from within:
People can add to your happiness, but overall happiness comes from within you. It’s your responsibility to make yourself happy.
So embrace your inner power by becoming self-aware, searching for purpose and meaning, volunteering and doing altruistic stuff for people around you, setting boundaries, and living an authentic life.
8. Have a Big Heart
If you have a big heart and you simply love spending time with others and getting to know them, you probably get attached too easily. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it can be if you aren’t a good judge of character.
When you connect too easily with people who don’t bring out the best in you or don’t want the best for you, it’s an unhealthy attachment.
How to learn to have a “healthy” heart:
Closing off your heart may sound like the ideal solution, but it isn’t. It closes you off from wonderful experiences like bonding with interesting people, learning new things, and having awesome people in your life.
Rather, keep the door to your heart open, but build a higher porch (or get a huge dog) so people have to put in some effort to get close to you.
This essentially translates into putting up boundaries to keep your heart safe and to develop emotional attachment and trust over time and not instantly.
9. See the Potential in Everyone
You may connect too easily with people because you see their potential, and that is beautiful but it’s also dangerous. You cannot fix or save someone or even make them realize their potential. You can just be you and love them as they are.
Whether you get attached to friends or a romantic partner too quickly, it’s because you are a romantic at heart, trying to find the love story within.
With your date, you want the person who will sweep you off your feet, who will come and save you like a knight in shining armor, and who will achieve great things with you by their side.
With a friend, you want a person who will be YOUR person, your confidante, and your anam cara (or soul friend).
How to focus on what’s real:
It’s time to see people for who they really are and not who you want and wish them to be. It may sound better and easier to focus on the airy fairy of someone, but the reality is better because then you know what to expect and where you stand with someone.
It prevents you from being disappointed when you realize they aren’t their potential and they are just as fallible and imperfect as you are.
Plus, you can become aware of a person's toxic traits, how healthy or unhealthy your relationship or friendship is, and whether you need to stay or leave.
10. Don’t Believe You Have Options
We all have options in life, but when you have a scarcity mindset, you may not believe you have options.
And so, you become emotionally attached to any person who can be your friend or a romantic partner. You don’t believe you deserve better, and so you settle and hold onto what you do have.
How to not settle for less:
You shouldn’t settle for less than what you are worthy of in life because then it’s like the happiness problem. You are putting power into things and people other than yourself.
It’s time to stand your ground and only accept what’s meant for you. Realize that you are worthy by learning to love yourself and that you have the power to not settle.
Work on identifying people who are good for you and express what you need and desire. And learn to say no.
11. Have a Savior Complex or Are a People-Pleaser
If you have people-pleasing tendencies or a savior complex, then you easily become attached to others.
With a savior complex, you believe you are the person who can save them and whom they need, and since you are always the responsible one, you just take charge, trying to save people. You become attached because you believe they need someone – you.
People-pleasers just can’t help themselves. If you are a people-pleaser, you attach easily because you want to make others happy and help them. And the more you help others, the more easily you emotionally attach to them.
How to stop feeling like you need to save others or people-please:
To stop forming unhealthy attachments because you have a savior complex and/or are a people-pleaser, it’s essential to accept that you are only responsible for yourself and your actions, while other people are responsible for themselves.
They are not your responsibility, so learn what you can control, practice listening instead of reacting, identify your priorities, set and enforce boundaries, say no, and realize you have a choice – always.
Final Thoughts on Why People Get Attached So Easily
When you get attached too easily to others, it often leads to heartbreak and disappointment.
The other person isn’t as attached to you as you are to them, so they can’t meet your emotional needs or expectations. Sadly, it’s a one-sided relationship where you invest too much in the hope of gaining love, security, and affection.
Whether you get attached too quickly because you have insecurities, struggle to spend time by yourself, or you just see the potential of someone, you can break your bad habit.
Decide whether you need to work with a mental health profession, heal your inner child wounds, make self-care a priority, or learn to be your own best friend.
It’s also possible that you form attachments to unhealthy people too quickly (co-dependency), so be sure to check out my guide about why you attract toxic people in your life. Or learn how to emotionally detach from someone.
And if you're looking for more articles about relationships, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 15 Warning Signs That Your Partner Has Commitment Issues
- 21 Signs and Characteristics of a Difficult Person
- 13 Signs You’re Dealing with an Emotionally Draining Person