This is a common discussion topic among my friends that I thought might be appropriate to bring to this forum.
My experience in relationships has shown that it is very difficult to love someone strongly without becoming very attached to them. Attachment in this context means that you become dependent upon their position in a relationship with you.
However, it seems that there are numerous negatives to this attachment, such as:
1. Because we care for them so deeply, we become worried that they might leave us and feelings such as jealously often arise.
2. Since it is difficult to be attached to a growing, developing thing, we often form ideals of our significant others and grow attached to these ideals. Then, when the real person no longer substantially resembles the ideal, we become upset.
3. Because of the conceptualization of the relationship as a unitary 'Us' rather than two individuals in a relationship, sometimes the opportunities for independent growth are stifled. This can often occur if there are too few situations where they are apart or if while separated, one or the other is constantly concerned with their missing partner.
As far as I can tell, none of these negatives apply directly to the love aspect of the relationship, and apply simply to the attachment. So the question becomes, can there be love without attachment?
In Buddhist literature, specifically in the Mahayana tradition, there is a great deal of development of the ability to love. Meanwhile, all Buddhists are taught the evils of attachment and a great element of the path is severing such attachment. The Buddhists clearly believe that love can exist without attachment, but the relationships that are described under such circumstances are not very similar to contemporary western relationships.
Godly love and humanly love are not equal. You cannot apply the concept of God's love into a human relationship. With God, we can love God without any attachments. However, it is not the same with human. Its difficult to love without attachments. Most of the time when you love someone, you will want to feel closure with that person. It's just basic human instinct. Closure and attachments are ways to show love as well. If you can love without attachment, maybe you don't call it love. You call it something other than love. Attachment helps clear things up, any confusion or misunderstanding.
Attachment that goes along with commitment goes together when you love a person. It is already part of any relationship that whenever you are into it, you have to stick with the natural rules of love. For me, your illustrated negatives to attachment is not ever a negatives or disadvantages. It is part of the package of LOVE. When you are in love, you are committed, and when you are committed, you are attach.
Can love exist without attachment?
Simple test: Are you attached to me? Do you love me?