Ever wonder why your girl runs hot and cold and you never seem to be in sync? It may be related to your attachment style. Everyone has an attachment style. The way we attach to each other is partly determined by biology and our early life experiences.
All humans are wired bond in some way. We are emotional beings, and establish intimate and meaningful connections throughout our lives as a basic survival mechanism. In our hunter/gatherer past, any child or adult who had big problems attaching, would not have reaped the protective benefits of our co-operative social systems, and would have fallen out of evolution’s chain. Researchers in Attachment Theory sometimes put people loosely into one of three types of attachment styles: secure, anxious, and avoidant. The attachment style that you have can significantly affect how you relate to a partner in an intimate relationship.
If you have an ANXIOUS ATTACHMENT style:
You easily become preoccupied with your relationship, finding your mind often wandering to your partner. You look for signs that the relationship may be ending, and might even snoop into her iPhone to check for texts from a competitor or check her Facebook page to see who’s been hanging with. You may also feel uncomfortable expressing your true emotions to a romantic partner.
What to do:
One of the best remedies is to talk about things. Find a trusting person, such as a counselor or therapist to confide your internal problems. You can learn to contain yourself and trust love. You deserve to have love without fear. Need some quick relationship coaching advice? Come find me on Google Helpouts!
If you have an AVOIDANT ATTACHMENT style:
You find yourself always in relationships with “cling-ons” women who seem to be very emotional needy and need constant reassurances by you that things are okay. For you, talking about feelings feels like “wasted” time or even flat out uncomfortable. You may find it difficult to find words and expression for your emotions.
What to do:
This does not make you un-dateable, far from it! Try to build your intimacy tolerance by learning how to express your feelings, and lastly, explain to your loved one that it is hard for you to express yourself. A supportive partner will understand, and even help you create a better foundation of intimacy.
If you have a SECURE ATTACHMENT style:
You love your independence, but you know that you can depend on those you trust. You are able to be open with intimate partners, and you aren’t afraid to express your emotions. You can both give and receive care comfortably.
What to do:
Understand that while you may feel secure in your relationships, the people you meet don’t. You may find yourself being the stable mast in an emotional storm. The good news is this: when people who attach in an anxious way fall in love with someone who is secure, the relationship itself can become healing. Stay calm and consistent, and things may settle down.
Knowing how you function as a partner in a relationship is paramount to relationship success. It’s estimated that 40% of people have insecure attachment styles yet they are dating, mating, and marrying at about the same rates. No matter what type of attachment style you identify with, do not think they will prevent you from having a healthy, positive relationship.
For more advice on expressing your most intimate emotions, check out my video, “How to Communicate and Be Heard”