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9 tips to try if you want to avoid getting emotionally attached to someone

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So you’re trying not to get so enamored with romantic interests.

Perhaps this is a general thing in your love life.

Maybe you get emotionally attached to new lovers too quickly and it’s been causing you problems.

You fall hard and fast and that leaves you vulnerable to getting your heart broken.

You don’t want to go through that again.

Or perhaps the issue is more specific.

Maybe there’s someone in your life right now and you want to make sure you don’t attach yourself to them too quickly.

You don’t want to ruin it, or you’re not sure where it’s going or if it’s right.

Or maybe you’ve decided you want to cut off an emotional attachment altogether because you know the person isn’t right for you.

That might be because they’re already in a relationship or because you can see it ending badly between you.

Whatever the case, here are some tips for keeping those emotions of yours firmly under control so you stay in the driver’s seat and make conscious decisions about relationships.

Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you figure out why you get emotionally attached to people so easily. You may want to try speaking to one via for quality care at its most convenient.

1. Get clear on what you want.

If you’re serious about not getting emotionally attached so easily, you need to be clear about why that is and what you’re looking for.

If you’re not clear on what you’re looking for in a relationship, you might end up getting carried away and getting hurt.

Do you want something more casual, or are you ready for serious long-term love?

Being clear on this is also helpful if you’re trying to put an end to the feelings you’ve developed for a particular person.

When you’re tempted to see them or speak to them you’ll need a reason why it’s not a good idea.

That way, you won’t end up self-sabotaging against your better judgment.

2. Don’t get physically intimate.

No strings attached sex can be wonderful.

But if you’re reading this, you’re probably quick to emotionally attach to someone after being physically intimate with them.

If this is a problem for you, hold off a little longer than you normally would before getting physical with someone you’re newly involved with.

If you think the relationship has a future and you feel it would be unwise to have sex too soon, be strict with yourself about not jumping between the sheets until things have developed more and there’s more trust between you.

If there’s a certain person you’re trying to stay cool about, the same applies.

Try to avoid getting sexual until you’re sure of them as a potential long-term partner.

If you do have sex with them, try not to let it become a regular thing whilst you’re still in the early stages of the relationship.

It’ll be very hard to sleep with them without your emotional attachment to them growing out of proportion.

And if you’re trying to turn your emotions off entirely, then sex has to be an absolute no go.

You won’t stand a chance of cutting things off and getting over them if you’re still sleeping with them.

3. Limit your contact with them.

It’s not just sex that you need to limit if you don’t want to get emotionally attached to someone.

Be strict with yourself about how much you’re in contact with any new love interests.

Don’t text them all day every day as soon as you meet them. Don’t spend all your free time with them. Don’t abandon your friends for them.

And don’t let them become your main focus. Keep up with your interests and don’t let your life start to revolve around them.

If there’s someone in particular you’re thinking of, the same thing applies. Don’t dive straight into this new relationship.

Ease yourself in gradually, letting the contact between you grow naturally and sustainably, rather than going from 0 to 100 overnight.

And if you want to stop these feelings in their tracks, you need to go cold turkey.

You might have to see them socially or at work, but stop messaging them and stop spending time with them if you want to have a chance of cutting things off.

Messaging them keeps them at the forefront of your mind and means it’s harder to put some emotional distance between you.

The more you’re in contact with them, the more your feelings will develop and the harder it will be when it finally ends.

So be kind to yourself and minimize contact as much as you can.

4. Focus on the now.

To stop becoming so emotionally attached to someone, focus on the here and now. Not on some imaginary future.

When a new and exciting relationship is starting to emerge, many people make the mistake of fantasizing about a hypothetical future that they invent in their minds.

They focus on that mythical world rather than enjoying the exciting period when a relationship is starting to blossom.

They also become blind to potential warning signs about this new person.

They quickly become attached not just to the person, but to the entirely imaginary future they think they could have with that person.

If this is a general thing, try to live in the moment and keep your feet firmly on the ground, so your emotions won’t get ahead of themselves.

And if there’s a specific someone you are trying not to get attached to, try to make sure you’re keeping busy and have lots to think about, so you don’t have time to fantasize.

Focus on the stage you’re at with this person right now, rather than dreaming of the future.

5. Take your time.

Whether this is a general problem you have or there’s someone in your life right now, just take your time when it comes to romance.

There’s absolutely no rush.

Getting into a relationship is a big deal that you shouldn’t take lightly.

Don’t try to speed up the dating process.

Make sure you spend plenty of time with someone and get to know them properly before you hand over the keys to your heart.

6. Don’t be afraid to get deep.

If you tend to get emotionally attached to people who turn out to be wrong for you, the problem might be that you don’t get to the deal breakers early enough in the relationship.

You don’t want to scare someone off by bringing up serious topics like life goals, career goals, belief systems, politics, marriage, or kids when you’ve just met.

That’s fair enough.

But it means that you might develop feelings for someone only to discover that you’re incompatible when you finally dig into the important stuff.

True, if you see eye to eye on things then it might mean you get more attached to them than you would have without these conversations.

But it can also mean you don’t get attached to someone you aren’t on the same wavelength as, which will save yourself a lot of heartache.

7. Don’t neglect your family or friends.

If you’re prone to getting too emotionally attached too quickly, you need to be strict with yourself and resist the urge to spend all your time with this one person.

So many people make the mistake of neglecting all the other loves in their life when they meet a new romantic partner.

Don’t disappear into new relationships.

Keep up with your normal social life and don’t suddenly abandon all the important people in your life.

If there’s someone specific you’re trying to take it slowly with or forget altogether, then spending time with the people you love is a great way to take your mind off them.

8. Limit alcohol consumption.

If getting too emotionally attached to new love interests is an issue for you, try not to overdo the alcohol on dates.

Alcohol can cloud your judgment and mean you make decisions you wouldn’t otherwise.

That could be having sex with them on the first date, which can then mean you’re in far deeper than you wanted to be.

If there’s someone in particular you don’t want to develop more of an attachment to, then not drinking around them is also a good idea.

That way, you’ll be less likely to give into impulses.

9. Know your worth.

If your standards are too low or you’re scared of being alone, it’s more likely that you’ll get emotionally attached to people who aren’t right for you.

So work on your self-love and self-respect.

Practice self-care, look after your body and your mind.

Remind yourself that you deserve the world, and that it’s far better to be alone than in poor company.

The healthier your self-esteem, the less likely you are to fall for people who don’t deserve you, and the less likely you’ll be to get hurt.

Still not sure how not to get attached to someone?

Talk to a therapist about it.

Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours.

They can guide you and help you to slow things down a bit with this person and in future relationships. is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.

While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address.

And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.

Online therapy is actually a good option for many people. It’s more convenient than in-person therapy and is more affordable in a lot of cases.

And you get access to the same level of qualified and experienced professional.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service provide and the process of getting started.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I get attached so easily?

It can be emotionally exhausting to get attached easily in new relationships.

Before you’ve even gotten to know the other person, you’ve latched on to them: sending them multiple texts a day, thinking about them constantly, daydreaming about your future together.

All before the second or third date.

The warp speed at which you attach to someone is concerning at best and dangerous in extreme situations.

But you can’t seem to help yourself. Once you get started, you can’t seem to stop from doing it.

So, what causes you to behave this way? Why is it so easy for you to attach to another person?

There are several reasons why you get attached so easily. Such as the following:

You get too physical too soon.

Sex tends to cloud the logical part of our brains. Especially if the sex is good.

When you have an emotional connection with someone, sex is a great way to bond with the person. But in this scenario, sex builds on a foundation that is already there.

If, however, you engage in physical intimacy before you have an emotional connection, this can lead you to form a premature attachment with someone you don’t know very well or at all.

This can be worse if you’ve had poor or unsatisfactory sexual encounters in the past.

When you get intimate with someone who knows how to satisfy you, it will be hard to see the caution signs in your relationship.

You have an anxious attachment style.

Our attachment styles are the way we respond emotionally to others, as well as our behaviors and interactions with them.

Usually, our attachment styles develop during our childhood years and are based on our relationship with our primary caregivers.

However, our attachment styles can also change due to major life events, relationships, or even with different partners.

People with the anxious attachment style have a negative self-image while having a positive view of others.

They place a high value on their relationships but feel anxious and worried that their loved one is not as invested in the relationship as they are.

The fear of abandonment is high, causing people with this attachment style to be clingy, needy, preoccupied with the relationship, and desperate for love.

If you have this attachment style, then you likely get attached too soon because you’re afraid of being abandoned and desperate for love and approval.

You’ve made your partner responsible for your happiness.

The only thing in your life that makes you happy is your partner.

Being with your partner, thinking about your partner, talking to your partner…nothing makes you happier.

Even their mood affects how you feel.

You’ve taken to relying on your significant other to make you happy. Your relationship impacts whether you’re happy or upset.

This leads you to constantly seek their approval.

You’re a victim of love bombing.

Love bombing is a tactic used by narcissists to blow through your boundaries and force intimacy you are not yet ready for.

They bombard you with gifts, love, attention, and affection, making you feel as though no one else has ever loved you like this before.

This tactic is merely to get you to drop your guard and ignore glaring red flags, making you vulnerable to their games.

You are ready to settle down.

When you’ve been single for a long time or out in the dating scene for an extended period, you’ll eventually come to one conclusion—though there are a lot of fish in the sea, there’s also a lot of trash out there too.

When you finally meet someone who resembles someone you can settle down with or someone who seems to want the same things you want in a relationship, you latch on for dear life.

After all, you have no idea when next you’ll meet someone as stable as this.

You have a fear of being alone.

Since you started dating as a teenager, you haven’t been alone for more than a few weeks or at worst a couple months.

The thought of being single is uncomfortable.

It’s scary.

You’d almost rather be in a toxic relationship than alone.

In the past, you’ve stayed in relationships longer than you should have to avoid being alone.

You think you need to be in a relationship in order to be happy and the possibility of being single and happy has never occurred to you.

There are many reasons you get attached easily.

Most of these reasons have to do with you and point to inner work you need to do on yourself.

In order to stop the reoccurring cycle of falling too fast and too hard for someone, you need to figure out what that inner work is and deal with it.

What’s the difference between love and attachment?

There is a lot of confusion between love and attachment. This is largely because they’re pretty similar.

Simply put, love is an emotion you feel where the other person is the focus. While attachment is focused more on your personal issues.

When you love someone, you accept them, faults and all. Love is selfless.

As such, you are concerned about how to make them happy. You are willing to compromise for the sake of the relationship or your partner.

There is an emotional connection between you and your partner. Both of you put the other’s needs before your own.

Attachment, on the other hand, is about your issues.

Whether you have an anxious attachment style or avoidant attachment style, fear fuels how to attach to other people.

Depending on your attachment style, you’re either afraid of abandonment or afraid of commitment and losing your autonomy.

Either way, your issues govern the way you relate with and to your partner.

You are not considering what is best for them or thinking about making them happy.

Instead, you’re reacting to them due to your fears and insecurities.

The way to tell the difference between love and attachment is to examine the core emotion at the center of what you’re feeling.

Do you feel strongly about your partner because you are afraid to be alone?

Or do you feel strongly about them because you’ve bonded with them emotionally?

Are you drawn to them because of the way they make you feel?

Or are you fueled by a desire to make them happy?

At the center of your feelings, are you being propelled by fear of abandonment or loss of self?

Or do you feel that your bond with your partner can overcome almost anything thrown your way?

Distinguishing between love and attachment requires reflection and honesty with yourself about your relationship and your fears and insecurities.

Without that, you will continue to confuse the two.

What is an unhealthy attachment?

Since we form our attachment styles during childhood based on our relationship with our caregivers, it’s difficult to identify when we have an unhealthy attachment style.

To start at the beginning, emotional attachment refers to the way we respond emotionally to others or how we bond with people.

Not all emotional attachment is bad. In fact, a certain level of attachment is required in a long-term relationship, otherwise we’ll be looking for a new partner every few months.

Attachment becomes unhealthy when it’s fueled by our fears or insecurities and impedes our ability to form healthy relationships.

Out of the four main attachment styles, three are unhealthy. The unhealthy attachment styles are:

Anxious Attachment

People with this attachment style may have had caregivers who didn’t understand or fulfill their needs consistently.

They constantly worry about how to make their partner love them and keep loving them.

They also tend to be jealous, clingy, needy, full of anxiety, and fearful.

Signs of this attachment style include:

  • Feels (or is perceived as) needy
  • Has a tendency to be codependent
  • Tends to act jealous
  • Has difficulty managing time alone time or not being in a romantic relationship
  • Does not feel worthy of being loved
  • Fears emotional and physical abandonment
  • Has difficulty trusting others
  • Is constantly looking for reassurance and validation

Avoidant Attachment

A person may develop this attachment style if their parents/caregivers didn’t nurture them well by providing for both their physical and emotional needs.

Their caregivers may have also emphasized the need to be independent and not show any emotions.

Signs of this attachment style include:

  • Fears intimacy
  • Is emotionally unavailable
  • Has difficulty forming new or lasting relationships
  • Relies on self and believes he/she doesn’t need anyone’s love or support
  • Has difficulty expressing feelings

Fearful Avoidant Attachment

A person can develop this attachment style if their caregivers didn’t nurture them consistently.

Or, if their parents neglected, abused, criticized them harshly, or frightened them.

Signs of this attachment style include:

  • Feels desperate to be in a relationship until the relationship gets too close for comfort.
  • Feels disoriented whenever in a relationship
  • Feels ambivalent about any relationship
  • Typically attracted to people who are neglectful or abusive

Can you love someone and not be attached?

When you love someone, there is a certain level of emotional attachment that is involved.

If there were no attachment at all, we’d be on the lookout for a new partner after a few weeks or months.

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who has no emotional attachment to you. That would not be a healthy situation.

Our attachment styles refer to how we respond to other people emotionally. Love, by definition, is an emotion.

You cannot truly feel it for someone you are not emotionally connected to or attached to.

If you’re in a relationship with someone you are not emotionally attached to or connected to, it’s likely that the emotion you feel is lust and not actually love.

Remember, not all attachment styles are bad or unhealthy.

While three out of the four main attachment styles are unhealthy, there is still one that is healthy: secure attachment style.

People with the secure attachment style tend to:

  • Have trusting, lasting relationships
  • Have good self-esteem
  • Share feelings with partners and friends
  • Seek out social support

When people with this style get into relationships, they bond or connect to people using healthy means such as:

  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to self-reflect in partnerships
  • Ability to easily to connect with their partner
  • Ability to manage conflict well
  • Emotionally available

Love requires attachment in order to truly be love. Without attachment, all that remains is a toxic situation.

What is an anxious attachment style?

The Anxious Attachment Style is one of the three insecure (or unhealthy) attachment styles.

People with this attachment style usually grew up with caregivers who were inconsistent.

Sometimes the caregivers were supportive and attentive to their needs and sometimes they were not.

Often this was confusing for the person because they never knew if their needs were going to be met or ignored.

As a result, they became anxious because they didn’t know what kind of response they’d get from their caregivers.

This attachment style is characterized by a lack of independence.

People who have the anxious attachment style have a lot of insecurities and a strong desire to be close to their partner, to the point of being needy or clingy.

They are also often worried about being rejected or abandoned by their partners, which causes them to be even more clingy and needy.

People with this attachment style have the following characteristics:

  • Thinks highly of others but often suffers from low self-esteem
  • Often insecure and anxious about their own worth in a relationship
  • If their partner rejects them or does not respond to their needs, they’ll likely blame themselves or label themselves as not being worthy of love.
  • Requires constant reassurance that they are loved, worthy, and good enough
  • The fear of abandonment causes them to be desperate, clingy, and preoccupied with their relationship
  • Highly emotional and dependent on others
  • Constantly questions if their partner likes them
  • Worried that their partner is looking for reasons to break up with them

The following are the signs a person with an anxious attachment style might exhibit:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Lack of boundaries
  • Need for constant reassurance
  • Feels needy or clingy
  • Becomes obsessed or overly fixated on someone
  • Feels anxious or jealous when away from their partner

Can you change your attachment style?

It is possible to change your attachment style either through concentrated effort or by being in a relationship with a securely attached person.

Being in a healthy relationship and experiencing a secure attachment style can lead to a shift in perception and the development of new habits and patterns.

Whichever path leads you towards changing your attachment style, to be successful at it, you need to do the following:

  • Identify your attachment style: You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge. So, the first step toward changing your attachment style is figuring out which one you have. This will help you understand your triggers and the reason behind your behavior.
  • Work with a therapist: The best way to work through the issues of your childhood is to do so with the help of a licensed professional. They can help you make sense of your past and teach you better coping skills to improve your relationships. A therapist can also teach you how to identify when you’re reverting to your old patterns.
  • Communicate with your partner: Once you’ve figured out your attachment style, let your partner know. Explain to them what you’re trying to accomplish by changing your attachment style and how they can help you. Discuss with them what your triggers are and how they can help hold you accountable or work through your fears and insecurities.

Changing a pattern that has been with you for most of your life will not be a simple task.

But if having a healthy, long-term relationship is important to you, having a secure attachment style is a must in order to reach this goal.

It is a good idea to seek professional help from one of the therapists at as professional therapy can be highly effective in helping you to figure out why you get so attached so easily, and how to stop.

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About The Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.