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How You Get Attached to a Guy & 19 Ways to Not Stay Hooked on Him

It’s a little too easy for some people to fall hard for someone. So, if that’s you, then you probably want to know how to not get attached to a guy. 

how to not get attached to a guy

You want to know how to not get attached to a guy. We all want to have our cake and eat it too, but when it comes to emotions and feelings, it’s not always possible. 

If you’ve been sleeping with a guy, and find yourself getting the warm, fuzzy feelings, well, that’s a red flag. The feelings aren’t a red flag, but the fact that you aren’t on the same page is a red flag.

If it’s clear he isn’t interested in being in a relationship with you, and what you have is only fun, you’re walking a thin line.

Many people have fallen for their friends-with-benefits, and it’s pretty common. People always forget that sex is intimate and emotional.

At some point, you will develop feelings. And maybe the sex is really good, so you want to preserve that and not get attached. But listen, it’s not going to be easy. [Read: The 14 casual dating rules that make or break every casual relationship]

What is attachment and how does it work?

We all know what the feeling of attachment is, but how exactly do you define it? Well, attachment – or more specifically, emotional attachment – is the sense of connection and affection you feel for a person. 

If you’re wondering how to not get attached to a guy, you need to understand first that attachment is a normal feeling for humans. Babies attach to their mothers and vice versa. It’s a survival instinct because when we love other people, we will help to keep them alive.

Think back to the caveman days when they really were fighting for survival. Love, affection, and emotional attachment helped humans.

Even though we don’t live in the caveman days anymore, our brains are still wired for attachment. And in and of itself, attachment can be a very good feeling – that is, if it is mutual.

When the attachment is not mutual, then that’s where it hurts. When only one person is attached and the other is detached, that leads to an unbalanced relationship. [Read: How to make your hookup fall for you – 26 pros, cons and ways to make him like you back]

Attachment styles

Before we talk about how not to get attached to a guy, let’s talk about the different attachment styles that people can have as individuals.

We learn these styles when we are babies and children. A lot of which one we develop depends on our emotional attachment – or lack thereof – from our parents and caregivers.

Overall, a person’s attachment style is their way of relating to other people when they are in a relationship with them.

There is a scientific theory about it too – attachment theory. It was developed in the 1950s by Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby. They argue that our adult attachment styles mirror the dynamics we had with our caregivers as children.

There are four main adult attachment styles.

1. Secure

When someone has a secure attachment style, they can trust other people and be trusted themselves. They also can accept love and get close to other people pretty easily. [Read: How to feel secure in a relationship when you feel insecure inside]

People like this are not afraid of emotional intimacy and they don’t freak out if their partners need time or space away from them. It’s possible for them to be dependent on other people, but they don’t lose themselves in the relationship.

When someone has a secure attachment style, it’s because their parents/caregivers were responsive and in tune with their needs as a baby/child. Their love and affection were predictable and made them feel consistently loved.

2. Anxious

People with an anxious-attachment style have a deep fear of abandonment. If someone is anxiously attached, they are very insecure about their relationships.

They frequently worry that their partner will leave them, and they need constant validation and reassurance. [Read: Insecure attachment – the different styles and how they affect you]

This is what most people call being “needy” in a relationship. They are clingy in general. For example, they could get very anxious if their partner doesn’t text back quickly or they have a pervasive feeling that they aren’t loved.

In their young years, their caregivers/parents are inconsistent and unpredictable with their affection for them. Sometimes they are smothered with love, and then they are also ignored. This creates confusion and anxiety. [Read: 21 signs of a clingy girl and how to avoid turning into one]

3. Avoidant

The avoidant attachment style is similar to the anxious only because it is also a form of insecurity. However, people with this style tend to have a hard time getting emotionally close to other people or trusting them when they are in a relationship.

In fact, they can even feel suffocated when they are in a relationship.

These kinds of people generally need some distance from people, and they like to be independent and self-sufficient. They might even avoid relationships altogether and prefer to be single instead. [Read: How the avoidant attachment style can doom your relationship]

As a baby/child, their caregivers were not responsive to their needs. In fact, they were often distant or dismissive of them altogether. They were consistently emotionally disconnected from the child which leaves the young person feeling like their needs will never get met.

4. Fearful-avoidant

This style is also called a “disorganized” style. It is a combination of both the anxious and avoidant attachment styles. People who are fearful-avoidant have contradictions that exist within themselves. They simultaneously crave affection and want to avoid it at all costs.

Because of this, they are reluctant to develop a close romantic relationship with people. But even though they are wary of them, they still have a deep need to feel loved by other people.

People with this style had a caregiver or parent who is traumatizing. This leads them to have a deep sense of fear and lack of trust in other people, even though they do desire to have close connections.

Their parents could have been neglectful or even abusive. Therefore, they don’t even know what a healthy relationship looks like. [Read: How a fearful attachment style keeps you from harmony]

As you can see from these attachment styles, someone with anything other than the secure attachment style can have some emotional attachment issues.

Imagine if someone who was anxiously attached was in a friends-with-benefits situation with a person with avoidant style. That would be a disaster! The anxious one would constantly chase the avoidant one. It’s like oil and water – they don’t mix.

So, if you are afraid that you get attached too easily to guys, here are some tips for how to stop doing that.

How to not get attached to a guy and take a step back emotionally

But it’s possible to learn how to not get attached to a guy. Follow these tips, and they will guide you in the right direction.

But unless you stick to the right decisions and stay strong, there’s no guarantee it will work. Why? Because we’re emotional human beings and it’s very easy to slip up and fall harder for someone! 

1. Don’t lie to yourself

You know when you’re getting attached to someone, it’s not rocket science. You can feel yourself smiling when they text you, you think about them during the day. Well, you know the drill. 

But if you do not want to get attached, be honest with yourself. If you hide your feelings from yourself, it will backfire. First and foremost, be honest with your own feelings and be truthful if you think you’re falling for a guy you shouldn’t be falling for. [Read: The signs you’re emotionally attached and falling hard for someone]

2. Are you happy with the situation? 

Your partner doesn’t want anything more than just a good time, but are you genuinely able to continue this relationship at that level?

Is this something you actually want, or are you settling because of what they want? Be really clear about this. You’re the first priority, so if you’re not happy and not getting what you want, this isn’t for you. 

3. Lower those expectations

You were hoping they’d admit their feelings for you, but that won’t happen any time soon. Your expectations are too high.

Remember, this guy doesn’t want anything serious, and most likely, this isn’t about to change. If you’re wondering how to not get attached to a guy, don’t pretend you’re in a relationship.

Go on dates, flirt, and even kiss other people. Don’t put all your eggs in a basket! [Read: Why it is really healthy to try dating multiple people]

4. Cut any “relationship” activities

This is one of the reasons why you’re getting attached. If you were only having sex, fine. But you see each other for dinner, go to the movies. You do couple-like activities. And you’re treading in murky waters.

If he doesn’t have feelings for you, then you’re his substitute girlfriend until something better comes along. Screw that. Cut those relationship activities. [Read: 15 signs he’s talking to another girl and using you until someone better comes along]

5. Don’t get caught up in a fantasy

It’s so easy to daydream and fantasize about being in a relationship with the person you’re sleeping with. Seriously, you’re already halfway there. But, this is dangerous.

Once you fantasize about them, you’re toast. Your fantasy is probably inflated and unrealistic. And once reality hits, it’ll hurt. [Read: How to see the signs when your casual relationship is starting to get serious]

6. Set boundaries

If you still want to sleep with them, set boundaries. They can’t hang out with you every day or sleep over. This should stop. If it’s just sex, that’s fine.

But anything more than that is crossing the line. If you don’t want to get attached to a guy, then create healthy boundaries for the relationship. 

7. Spend time with friends

If you’re just sleeping with him, do not spend your free time with this guy unless it’s for sex. Other than that, you shouldn’t be seeing him at all.

Instead, spend your time with other people like your friends and family. Don’t cut your friends just because you’re sleeping with someone. Plus, spending more time with your friends will help you to not get attached to the guy. 

8. Don’t think about the future

Honestly, the future isn’t that bright for casual relationships. Sure, some do transition into serious ones, but not many. To preserve your feelings, avoid thinking about the future or making any future plans.

You don’t need a five-year plan with someone who only wants to sleep with you tonight. [Read: What does a casual relationship mean to a guy and your future?]

9 They’re flawed too

To keep you from falling into fantasy, remind yourself of their flaws. It’s easy to forget they’re human too when you like them.

So, don’t just focus on the good, focus on the flaws as well. This shouldn’t turn you off, but it will help you get a dose of reality. 

10. They don’t get to meet friends or family

If you don’t want to get attached to a guy, keep him as far away from your friends and family as possible. They just don’t get to meet your closest people.

This is reserved for serious relationships. The moment he meets your friends and family, he’s in. And you don’t want that. 

11. Don’t become a doormat

With casual relationships, boundaries aren’t usually put in place. But this is why must create them. If you don’t want to get attached to him, don’t become a doormat.

You don’t have a come-whenever-you-want policy. Nuh-uh. Be firm with him and stick to the boundaries you set if you don’t want to get attached to him. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 15 must-follow rules to not get hurt]

12. Don’t meet his friends

The more you know about him, the worse you’ll be. You don’t want to know too much about his personal life, and this includes the people he hangs out with.

Once you know details, it means you’re getting to know one another, and that means you’ll get attached to the guy. 

13. When you get attached, stop the relationship

Here’s the thing, once you have feelings, they don’t stop increasing. It’s almost impossible to just cut the feelings when you’re still seeing them.

Once you start feeling something, then you know it’s time to end the relationship. Because let’s face it, you will catch feelings. [Read: The signs you’re more than friends with benefits and getting attached]

14. What do you want?

What you really, really want. But really, ask yourself what you want. Why did you choose this person to be in a casual relationship with? Are your needs being met?

15. It will end

Listen, if you have feelings, they won’t magically get up and leave one day. They’re here to stay unless you change the situation. And, by change, we mean end it. The relationship will end eventually. Once the feelings develop, it’s only a matter of time. 

[Read: How to lose feelings for someone and let go of the might have beens]

No one said having feelings is easy. They’re always causing problems, right? Well, now you know how to not get attached to a guy, you just have to make up your mind to stick to what you need to do.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...