We often confuse love with attachment.
We think that by keeping our relationships close with others, we are showing love. That the expectations we have of other people in the name “love” are part of loving relationships. We build up a concept of what love is between ourselves and others.
We think, “If this person loved me, they would do X, Y, and Z.” As if other people in the world exists to make you happy. But holding other people to ideals, fantasies, and expectations is not love, that’s attachment.
Attachment instead of love leads to your emotional needs being wrapped up in others actions. You will learn to search for happiness in others, which is not possible.
It’s common for attachment and love to be confused, especially in romantic relationships. This attachment leads to partners that need to be with their “lover” all of the time. Or they get pre-occupied in the emotional needs of their partner to an obsessive level. Jealousy over the smallest interactions.
If left unchecked, attachment in a relationship can lead to bitterness and unhealthy behaviors.
True love has you concerned about the happiness and well-being of others, irregardless of how it involves yourself.
This often means that both individuals in a relationship must first love themselves. If two people enter a relationship with their own internal self-worth and sense of well being, they will not be forced search it out in the other person.
Love in a relationship does not mean complete independence. Especially in a serious relationship, you would show respect to your partner by not inflicting emotional harm or lack or care. You love your partner by allowing them to be their best self, and assisting in creating an environment for them to do so.