Emotional Connection Vs. Emotional Bonding – The Difference

emotionally-bond-with-your-exTo emotionally connect, you have to get someone to emotionally open up first, then emotionally be engaged or involved.

Emotionally open up. Then, emotionally connected. No opening up. No connection.

Emotional bonding goes further than emotional connection.

In fact, you can be emotionally connected but not be emotionally bonding.

Mind bungling isn’t it? How’s that even possible?

I’ll use the example of the hotel receptionist again.

The last several days you said “Good morning” as you passed the lobby. No thought or feeling, just going through the motions. It’s what you are supposed to do if you live in polite society.

Like that low or minimum contact thing you’ve been doing. Send a text.. “Hi, How are you?” (or whatever way people greet this days). Wait a few days then repeat.

You think you are “trying to get back your ex”, but all you are doing is going through the motions. Since there is not much thought or feeling in it, you could even set your phone to do it for you.

But let’s say, one day, instead of saying “Good morning” to the receptionist and going your merry or miserable way, you stop to compliment her or talk to him for a minute or two. You ask a few questions and get to know him/her not just as the “receptionist”, but as a PERSON.

With just a simple gesture, you made him/her FEEL good. You know something else? You made an emotional connection. You felt good talking to them and they felt good talking to you. At moment in time, you shared an emotion. Your emotions connected. You made an emotional connection.

You could have simply done the same thing you have always done; say “Good morning” and go your way and it wouldn’t have mattered. You wouldn’t care, and he/she wouldn’t care. No foul, no harm. No mistakes and no progress either.

But because you made an emotional connection, you changed the dynamic of your “relationship”. Now you are no longer “just another” patron doing polite, you are that person who showed you think about things HE/SHE cares about, and care about people HE/SHE cares about.

Getting it now?

You made an emotional connection, but that doesn’t mean you emotionally bonded. The receptionist isn’t going to ask for your private number, call you to just chat or knock at your door because he/she wants a hug.

To get to the long late night chats and cuddles there has to be an emotional bond. Well, not really. You can get the late night knock if it’s your “lucky” day (if you know what I mean). That’s not what I am talking about, though.

I am talking about chats and hugs that actually mean more. I am talking about a set of feelings and emotions that make someone FEEL attached to you.

I understand that for some, “attached” is probably an obscene word.

I have had men and women who want their ex back say to me “Wouldn’t that make him/her think I am attached to him/her?”

And I am like… “Ye-es. Isn’t that what you want?”

And they are like… “NO! I don’t want him/her to think I am attached to him/her, and I definitely don’t want to be attached to him/her, or to anyone for that matter.”

“Ok-ay. So how’s this ‘relationship’ thing going to work if you don’t want to be attached to anyone?”

Of course I know exactly what they are saying. They are saying, “I am afraid of getting close to anyone because when I do, I lose myself, can’t control my feelings and emotions and as a result suffocate anyone I get close to”.

Unhealthy or insecure attachment is bad for you, bad for your ex (or partner) and bad for any relationship. Healthy attachment is not.

Personally I don’t trust anyone who’s not attached (in a healthy way) to anyone or anything. Something is seriously “wrong”.

Okay, where were we? The hotel receptionist…

You made him/her FEEL positive feelings and emotionally connected. But one time emotional connection is not enough to create an emotional bond.

You have to arouse and engage a set of feelings and emotions to get him/her to FEEL attached or bonded to you.

This takes time and attention to build and grow. It may take days, weeks or months.

10 Emotions Your Ex Needs To Feel is a good place to start arousing and engaging your ex’s emotions.


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  • In your article, you said “you have to arouse and engage a set of feelings and emotions to get him to FEEL attached or bonded to you.” I get that you can’t go through the motions and need to be emotionally vested to make an emotional connection, but how do you turn that connection into a bond? How can you engage feelings to create a bond? How does a connection turn into something more, especially after a break up has happened? Could you provide some examples? Thank you!

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  • Yangki, I have started to try to “grow” the relationship like you and I talked about. It’s mostly been interesting stuff going on in my life and he responds with his opinion on some of it. However, last week he wasn’t feeling well and when I asked him whether he had been to see a doctor I did not get a reply back. I told myself not to take it personal, something you and I have talked about. To my own surprise, this helped me feel more relaxed about the situation. The next day I sent him a “get-well” e-card. I heard back from him thanking me for checking up on him. He then called me and we had a nice 23 minute conversation.

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    • I too think you are “growing” the relationship. Your response to him not responding prevented you from being knocked off course. You’ll have days when things are very good and days when not so much. Try as much as possible to be consistent in being calm — and keep moving things forward.

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  • My ex broke up with me 3 weeks ago because she feels she has lost the emotional connection and it feels like we are roommates. We own our home together and when I asked her about living arrangements she cried saying she wasn’t ready for me to leave let. She said she needs time to find herself but still wants to hang out with me. When we do hang out it is not in a girlfriend way. I’m concerned about us living together. In your new E-Book on page 196 you say “Going out every day or every other day in the initial stages is probably not a very good idea”

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    • That’s right. It should reflect the stage you are in your efforts to get back together.

      You own a home together, so it’s not like you can push her out. At least not without causing more damage to your chances. You have to work with your circumstances and make the best of it.

      Since you hang out, I assume you get along well. So talk to her… tell her you don’t think that it’s a good idea for you to hangout every night when you are not a couple.

      It’s up to you to set the pace if you want to have a chance of making it work. Sometimes that means giving up what feels good right now for what’s right in the long term. That’s covered in pages 357 – 364.

      Things take time, but you can still make it work if you do it systematically and strategically. Don’t rush anything out of panic or frustration

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