Something I have been looking into recently are attachment styles. Now this isn’t the usual type of content I would ever post on my blog. Relationships aren’t really my niche, but as you know I tend to write things on this site that I’m dealing with in that moment. And right now I am head first in learning about attachment styles and how it can affect our adult relationships.
If you’re dating in 2022 you know first hand how hard it is to navigate online and real life dating. People are so easily accessible, meaning you are also seen as easily replaceable. Knowing that you have a plethora of other choices out there if it doesn’t work out with the one you’re dating currently can be a blessing and a curse. It has taught us that if we don’t like something small about someone, we throw them away and move onto the next one. Think back 50-60 years ago, this wasn’t even an option. People fell in love with others and those small things they didn’t like about one another, they learnt to love.
I’m saying all of this as a Segway into what I have been learning recently, which has completely transformed my life.
LEARNING ABOUT ATTACHMENT STYLES
One random Monday evening, I was doing my usually Tik Tok before bed scroll and stumbled across a lovely woman’s tik tok. She started listing some attributes of what she called ‘People with an anxious attachment style’, so I stayed for a moment and watched. To my surprise she had basically described me and every emotion I go through when dating or in a relationship. I was shocked, stunned and also felt quite relieved that the emotions I often felt toward potential romantic partners wasn’t me just being crazy.
I of course followed the woman and have binged all of her videos about attachment styles. She mentioned in one a book called Attached. by Dr Amir Levine, and of course I bought it. As a little background I am not a book reader. I don’t enjoy reading, but this book? Well, I have nearly finished it in 2 days. I am hooked. It teaches you about all 3 attachment styles and goes into detail about what kind of people they are in relationships and some red flags to look out for. Essentially attachment styles are ways in which we are programmed to behave in relationships. Both platonic and romantic (but mainly romantic)
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THE THREE TYPES OF ATTACHMENT STYLES
In this section I will be quoting the definitions found in ‘Attached – By Dr Amir Levine’ and it will help to describe all three attachment styles.
Being warm and loving in a relationship comes naturally to you. You enjoy being intimate without becoming overly worried about your relationships. Often, You take things in stride when it comes to romance and don’t get easily upset over relationship matters. You effectively communicate your needs and feelings to your partner and are strong at reading your partner’s emotions cues and responding to them. You share your successes and problems with your mate, and are able to be there for him or her in times of need.
You love to be very close to your romantic partners and have the capacity for great intimacy. You often fear, however, that your partner does not wish to be as close as you would like him/her to be. Relationships tend to consume a large part of your emotional energy. You tend to be very sensitive to small fluctuations in your partner’s moods and actions, and although your senses are often accurate, you take your partner’s behaviours too personally. You experience alot of negative emotions within the relationship and get easily upset. As a result, you tend to act out and say things you later regret. If the other person provides alot of security and reassurance, however, you are able to shed much of your preoccupation and feel contented.
It is very important for you to maintain your independence and self-sufficient and you often prefer autonomy to intimate relationships. Even though you do want to be close to others, you feel uncomfortable with too much closeness and tend to keep your partner at arm’s length. You don’t spend much time worrying about your romantic relationships or about being rejected. You tend not to open up to your partners and they often complain that you are emotionally distant. In relationships, you are often on high alert for any signs of control or impingement on your territory by your partner.
Now you’ve read those definitions, which attachment style of you think you have?
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WHAT IMPACT ATTACHMENT STYLES HAVE ON RELATIONSHIPS
Now, depending on which attachment style you have will depend on how it may affect you and your partners. There are clear attachment styles that do and don’t work together, with the common denominator being the secure attachment style. Accordingly to helpguide.org around 50-60% of people have the secure attachment style, and honestly thats the attachment style you want. An avoidant and secure relationship = good. An anxious and secure relationship = good. An avoidant and anxious relationship = not so good.
According to research that can be found in the book ‘attached’, Dr Amir speaks about how avoidant people seek out anxious people to be their mates. When avoidant attachment style people are not the best choice if you have an anxious attachment style. As someone with an anxious attachment style, the last thing I need from a relationship is someone who pushes me away and makes me feel confused. I need security and reassurance, not mixed messages.
Of course we all have different ways that we love and show love, but what’s important is that you choose a partner that knows how you like to be loved. And choosing the wrong attachment style person for you can have a really bad impact on your overall wellbeing.
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WHAT I HAVE LEARNT
Honestly, learning all of this information over the last few weeks has been so valuable to me. Becoming more self aware is something we should all strive to do. I know I am not perfect in any way, but learning about how I love and want to be loved is so important. If I don’t know how I want to be loved, then how can I expect anybody else to know? I would encourage everybody to look into this. I had no idea that I had an anxious attachment style, but now I know I can carefully choose who I decide to spend my time with. Not only does it help mentally, but it also helps to create and set boundaries with others.
Did you know about attachment styles? Which attachment style do you have?
If you’d like to purchase the book I have been reading, it can be found here.
A very interesting post, Olivia. I will be honest and say I am glad I am from the generation that is old fashioned regarding not having to navigate the online world in the past. What I have found interesting is that perhaps, two of my three children are the same re their potential relationships along the way – in person rather than the virtual world.
The three attachment styles are very interesting and make sense. I am the secure style mainly, but there are times when the anxious style kicks in. At least I can recognise when this happens nowadays and I will then say what I need to say. It’s amazing how this quickly improves the situation and gets things back on track. I have become much better at the tv thing. Most times I will pause the show or turn it off.
What I have noticed though is that, despite all the good stuff out there re not being on your devices when it matters, it is still very challenging. Fortunately, at least at the dinner table, we still have some great conversations, funny ones too and anyone caught going for their phone is tackled by the rest of the family 😂😂😂
The online factor of relationships really is more of a hindrance than a help. I wish we could go back to how it was before, things seemed more simple and I feel like alot of relationships had less interference because of it!
An interesting insight into attachments and relationships. Yes, most will prefer to have a secure style though a large majority are actually fence sitters fluctuating between secure and anxious. Avoidant is a style not many will say yes to but there is always a scope for space in relationship as the two grow together and understand each other better.
Stay blessed always 🙏🌹🙏
I have heard that too! I fluctuate between anxious and secure, and I feel like alot of us probably have a mixture of all 3 at times.
My Rollercoaster Journey
I also have anxious attachment and my husband has an avoidance attachment style. I’m working my way towards a healthy stable attachment though.
My Rollercoaster Journey
I didn’t find out about my anxious attachment style and my husband’s avoidant attachment style until a year ago, 7 years after a rollercoaster marriage. It’s too late for me to back out and find someone secure, because I have a 7-year-old son, and my husband and I do love each other, even though our relationship is toxic half the time. I’m working on becoming more secure by understanding my husbands style and not taking his actions personally and explaining to him about my style.
I cant even imagine how hard it is sometimes. If you haven’t, read the book I linked. I don’t get paid or anything to recommend it, it just has really helped me navigate some of the feelings I have
My Rollercoaster Journey
This was such a fantastic blog post!
Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk
Great post! I have done some research on attachment styles as well and they are very interesting.
I listened to a podcast last week about how important they are, but, our brains are plastic, meaning they change over time. With that being said, our attachment styles can change as we grow and go through different experiences.
Link to podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5AAkcp9acy7LtdPgXd4FXp?si=DpD-VVefRuKydVy_Ns7Qfw
Wonderful post.. love reading 📚