The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
When you’re in a new relationship, do you keep running across the same problems? You may have a habit of placing distance between you and your partner, or you may resist long-term relationships altogether because you are afraid of being wounded. Another possibility is that you’re constantly on the lookout for affirmation, and you’re concerned that your spouse doesn’t truly care about you.
Your “attachment style,” a notion about how people feel safe in their relationships, may have anything to do with these characteristics. Your romantic life might benefit from learning about attachment theory and how you apply in.
To characterize the numerous ties between parents and children, British psychologist John Bowlby introduced attachment theory in the 1950s. In contrast to a child who is safe and secure, a child who feels neglected or ignored will behave differently with their parents. When psychologists and academics elaborated on attachment theory, they categorized it into four main attachment styles: anxious, fearful-avoidant, avoidant, and secure attachment.
There is a growing acceptance of attachment theory outside of the academic and family communities. Today, some individuals are interested in learning about their attachment type in order to better understand how their early experiences have influenced their current relationships.
Even if you’ve had a rough childhood, don’t blame it completely on that. As you get more experience in relationships, your attachment style may shift. Visit this page to learn more about how our attachment styles may change as we grow.
Therapists can help you if you detect a pattern of behavior in your relationships—say, you frequently worry that your spouse doesn’t care about you as much as you care about them.
Asking your partner whether or not they’re still angry with you after a disagreement is a common practice. It is common for people with an anxious attachment style to be concerned about their relationships and the extent to which they are connected to each other. There is a constant desire for reassurance, and the end purpose is to calm their uneasiness about the connection.
An individual with an anxious attachment style may have a difficult time bonding with others, and:
- Feel jealousy in a romantic relationship
- Seek reassurance at every opportunity
- Are afraid of infidelity
When it comes to fearful-avoidant people, “disorganized attachment” is the term of choice. This desire for intimacy tends to fluctuate, but it’s not clear how to achieve it.
As children, these people may have had a caregiver who was a source of anxiety or even abuse. Because of some unforeseen circumstance, the child’s primary caregiver was unable to provide consolation when the child asked for it. Because they fear being harmed, this individual may alternate between seeking solace and retreating as an adult.
A person with a fearful-avoidant attachment type may:
- Engage in self-criticism
- Withdrawing abruptly when a romantic relationship progresses
- Respond badly to the unpleasant feelings of others
Avoidant attachment type people avoid getting too close to others because they are afraid of being hurt. If they don’t want to be in a relationship, these people may be able to keep their emotions under check. Depending on your relationship, you may not ever know what they’re thinking since they break up with someone before things become serious or hide their emotions.
According to SELF, a child’s avoidant attachment arises from a caregiver ignoring or ignoring the child’s demands. An individual who is taught to keep their feelings to themselves is taught that doing so is improper.
The following things can happen if you have an avoidant attachment style:
- When things get tense, they shuts down
- Do not know how to ask for assistance when they are in need
- Get in trouble for “pushing people away”
This one here is the best of the best. Secure attachment style partners are more likely to be calm and dependable. While some people may not be aware of it, others may aspire to this style but lack the skills to accomplish it.
Secure attachment styles can be formed in adulthood through therapy or on one’s own, but they can also be inherited from one’s upbringing. According to Insider, children who have a strong bond with a caregiver can be soothed when they are upset and show excitement when they meet their caretaker.
Those with secure attachment are:
- Able to deal with being on their own
- Have an ability to tell others when they need help
- Are able to control one’s own emotions