Do Emotional Attachments Lead to Love?

The closer the two of you feel, the more serious your relationship will become.
... Toby Burrows/Photodisc/Getty Images

Love isn't just about holding hands and feeling a physical spark between you and the object of your affection. Building a deep emotional bond is an essential part of falling in love. While emotional attachments such as the ones that you have with your friends don't always lead to love, emotional ties put you in the direction of something serious in romance.

1 Building Basics

Before you can judge whether your emotional attachment will lead to love, you need to understand how you build these close bonds. If you only know your romantic partner in a superficial way, you aren't building a true emotional attachment. On the other hand, if you spend time sharing your inner-most feelings, thoughts, ideas and opinions with each other, you are. For example, if all that you're learning about your "love" is who his favorite musician is and where he works, you aren't exactly building a bond. However, if he tells you what his life goals are and you share your biggest fears, you're heading towards a loving attachment.

2 Being Supportive

While just knowing someone really well doesn't always guarantee you a loving relationship, when supportive behavior follows emotional disclosure, it can translate into deeper feelings. As you gradually build up this part of an emotional attachment, you'll have a greater likelihood of falling in love. For example, your girlfriend failed her math final. Provide her with emotional support by letting her cry on your shoulder and telling her how smart you know she really is.

3 Positive Style

Not every emotional attachment is the same, or means the same thing, for every person. Your attachment style includes how you bond and react to those who are close to you. A secure attachment developed when, as a child, you felt free to explore your surroundings but always knew that a parent or guardian was close by to comfort you. If you've always had a secure attachment style, your present relationships are likely to be filled with openness, honesty, support and true equality, according to clinical psychologist Lisa Firestone in her article "How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationship" on the Psychology Today website. If this is the case for you, an emotional attachment can breed love.

4 Attachment With a Negative Edge

If you have a more anxious style, you may have difficulty building emotional bonds that are true enough to turn into love. People with an anxious attachment style may come across as clingy, instead of truly loving. For example, even though you've spent plenty of time getting to know your new guy, when you aren't with him you constantly text -- thinking that he might be pulling away. While he hasn't done anything to make you think this, your attachment style makes you take your bond to a needy level. This may eventually push him away or make you realize that what you have isn't true love. Identifying your attachment style can help you consciously work on a positive approach, notes Firestone. Therapy or having a securely attached, supportive dating partner can help you to overcome a negative style.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.