Tag Archives: romantic attachment

Love Like a Super Attacher (Someone with a secure attachment style)

Black Couple SleepingDespite what romantic movies, TV shows, and books tell you, love isn’t something that simply happens. It is a work of art created by you. Really. Finding love is less about meeting the right person and more about acquiring the habits of what I call a super-attacher. People with good relationship skills and healthy attachment behavior, who believe they are lovable, are the ones suddenly finding love, as singles often perceive it.

So how can you begin to learn healthy attachment behaviors and find the relationship you want and deserve? It all starts with understanding what attachment style is and how it affects relationships.

Each of us comes into the world with a biological predisposition to attach to people in a certain way ? some babies require more closeness and care than others. During the crucial first year of life, when our brains triple in size, we start to form a hardwired blue print for love based on how our caregivers respond to our needs. Then, in our adult romantic life, we attempt to replicate that version of love, even if, believe it or not, it was filled with feelings of loss or pain. Trying to replicate that love is what causes millions of singles to seek out help from coupled up friends, speed dating events, dating advice articles, and reviews of dating sites from places like DatingAdvice.com. Once we find our preferred venue for replicating that love, attachment style is the invisible force that prompts us to swipe right on someone we like or say hello to a stranger we find attractive. Attachment style is also the invisible force that determines whether or not we get into roller-coaster relationships with extreme highs and lows or not.

At the top of the mating heap are super-attachers. These people have whats known as a secure attachment style. Secure people tend to have high self-esteem. They are comfortable sharing feelings with friends and lovers. When they are suffering, they seek out social support. They take responsibility for their actions and are known for having a lot of empathy. Best of all, they have trusting, lasting relationships.

If you dont exactly fit the profile of a super-attacher, there are three simple things you can do that should help transform your dating life:

  1. Give Care Without Having Strings Attached

Yes, be an authentic nice guy or nice gal, not one whose kindness comes from fear that someone will bolt or who uses a manipulative tactic to get someone to like them. Instead, be kind, expecting nothing in return except your own sense of high self-esteem. Enjoy the ego boost. Love just for the sake of loving and youll like yourself better.

  1. Receive Care Happily

The next time you are feeling under the weather or under a lot of stress, call in for backup. Reach out to friends and family members. I know this can be very hard for some people, but learning to have interdependent social support is great practice for one-on-one love. Let the people in your life know what you need and allow them to take care of you.

  1. Dont Take Anything Personally

If you often get emotionally hijacked by sudden feelings of abandonment or rejection, I have four words for you:?Its never about you.?There is always another side to every story, and trust me, people are more concerned with their own stuff than yours. So take a deep breath, and use every feeling of rejection as an opportunity to practice self-consoling. Remember, its never personal.

Learning to have healthy attachments is the key to having a long and happy relationship ? and life in general. Because when you love better, you live better. By the way, if you are curious about what kind of attachment style you have, you can?take the quiz here.

LISTEN TO THE DR. WENDY WALSH SHOW ON KFIAM 640 LOS ANGELES. Listen from anywhere on the iHeartRadio app or online at www.KFIAM640.com

FOR COUPLES: The Secret of Love and Parenting

loving familyKids can be challenging. But so can our adult love relationships. But are they the same relationship? In many ways they are, and what we learn from one kind of relationship, we can apply to the other. The common link is emotional intimacy and the big tug-o-war in every intimate relationship is the struggle between independence and union. While many people have heard of co-dependence, that pop psyche term that means no one can remember whose problem is whose, not many fully understand the feeling of a healthy inter-dependence.

Independence and union are the yin-yang of human connections. Being in union with another fills us up with feelings of security, confidence, and heals our loneliness. And sometimes being together can also feel more like suffocation and imprisonment. Independence can help us feel powerful, free, and proudly self-sufficient. But independence can also bring feelings of isolation, fear, and, with no cheer leader, insecurity.

Every intimate relationship is a live action game, it’s partners on the same team with (hopefully) a common goal. Like basketball, sometimes one partner runs with the ball and scores, and other times is happy to assist or play defense. You steer the parent/child team when you make a firm rule. Your child steers the team when his/her unadulterated insight blurted out at a family dinner, awes and amazes you, and you change your behavior based on it. In an adult relationship, you may choose to lead by instituting firm boundaries between work life, couple-hood, and family life. He leads when you all move to a new city for his job and know that the long-run win will be family harmony.

The biggest difference between parenting and adult love is the direction separation runs. When you meet a stranger and fall in love, your journey together is one where you continue to grow closer and closer to create deep intimacy. A mother/child relationship runs the opposite course. You begin, literally as one body. And your journey is a long, slow separation from womb to dorm room. Both kinds of relationships share this: on their journey together each partner’s needs for closeness and autonomy will wax and wane as emotional needs ride the waves of daily life stresses.

Some people might think that another huge difference is that kids can’t leave. They are wholly dependent on their parents. But I beg to differ. Although kids may be financially dependent on their parents, they can emotionally leave the relationship. They can check out if their well-timed calls for some  autonomy are not heeded. They can check out if they are given too much independence, and feel unprotected by their parents. Lovers can do the same thing. They may leave physically or emotionally.

So, how can we honor the struggle between our desires to be an individual and our desires to be a partner? The answer is always to talk about it. To have empathy for another’s autonomy and not “take it personally.” To voice our own needs for autonomy or closeness in a non-threatening way. The road to intimacy is a prickly path. We will often make mistakes in judgement, or act from a place of fear. But the other wonderful thing about all relationships is that they are alive and growing and there is always room for repair. And in that very process of repair, where we may use empathy and humor, we will feel in union again, that is, until the next time we feel smothered.

For more watch my youtube video on: Why IN-dependence is OUT

FOR SINGLES: WHO LIES IN ONLINE DATING?

Man looking shocked at computerIt’s common knowledge that, when selecting a mate men prefer youth and beauty and women prefer money and height. But did you know that pressure causes most people to outright lie on online dating sites. In fact, 81% of people lie.

And the most common lies? According to researcher, Catalina L. Toma of Michigan State University users mostly lie about their age and their height. In addition, Professor Toma, Jefferey T. Hancock, of Cornell University and Nicole B. Ellison at Michigan State University, interviewed people from New York City who were dating online. All three of the researchers recorded the dating users’ height, weight, and took pictures of their faces, and recorded their age by verifying by their driver’s license. From the information they gathered, they analyzed the group’s dating profiles.

Women were the pretty little liars when it comes to weight. They found women claimed to be, on average, 8.5 pounds thinner than their actual weight. But men lie about weight too, but tend to shave fewer pounds off. They averaged 2 pounds lighter. Not surprisingly, a greater portion of men fibbed about height than women. Most lying men added half an inch to their original height.

So how about age? Is it really true that women lie about age to appear younger and more fertile? Not so. The age factor, according to Toma, was one aspect that dating users of both genders were honest about.

The good news is that it is possible to tell if a person is lying on their dating profile. According to a study printed in the Journal of Communication, people who lie on their profiles tend to use fewer pronouns. In other words, they lie but don’t directly attribute it to “I” and “me.” As well, those who are not telling the truth on their profile have a tendency to use more negative words such as “not” or “never”. They write shorter descriptions about themselves and do not display pessimistic emotions like “sad” and “upset.”

In the online dating world, it is buyer beware. Understand that deception is a proven mating strategy. Accept that the lies exist and do the math for yourself. Add some weight to each woman and subtract some height from each man. That way, you won’t be disappointed when you meet for that first coffee.

WATCH MY VIDEO: FOUR TECH MISTAKES THAT SINGLE GIRLS MAKE

Four Tech Mistakes Single Girls Make

Cited Sources:
http://www.academia.edu/762681/The_truth_about_lying_in_online_dating_profiles

FOR COUPLES: Can You Survive a Long Distance Relationship?

DepartureYou may have heard of this little saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but anyone who has been in a long distance relationship that went sour knows this isn’t always the case. More popular than ever before, the long distance relationship seems here to stay. Fueled by both the need for a mobile workforce and increased romantic opportunity through technology such as Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Twitter, research shows that some couples survive long distance relationships, while others don’t.

Purdue University researchers Ji-yeon Lee and Carole Pistole looked at attachment style, idealization (how one positively views their relationship,) and relationship satisfaction in two groups of college students totaling 536. One group had partners living in close proximity and the other were in long distance relationships. They hoped to identify which factors are related to relationship satisfaction. The group was asked to complete a series of online survives that focused on anxiety and anxious attachment. In the end the researchers found that both long distance and local relationships with partners who have troubled attachment styles were less satisfied overall about their relationships. Interesting to note, people in long distance relationships who tend to have a lot of anxiety or avoidance around emotional closeness, tended to show more idealization, or fantasies that the relationship was great. They also tended to disclose less and reported greater relationship satisfaction. It may be that people who have difficulty getting close to someone actually prefer a long distance relationship where they can imagine things are going well, without having to do the day-to-day work of growing emotional intimacy.

But for any couple, not seeing a significant other every day can cause some emotional barriers. Here are some tips to help make a long distance relationship work:

1. Make an end game. If your long distance relationship doesn’t have a time line and a goal, then it runs the risk of falling apart as soon as the sexual passion dies down. If the relationship is new, discuss how long each of you plan to engage in long distance courtship before discussing moving to the next step.

2. Keep it real and honest. Because people with insecure attachment styles tend to disclose less, it’s important that you don’t let your fantasies run away with you. Ask direct questions and give direct answers, especially when it come to feelings. Don’t assume anything.

3. Stick to a schedule. If your long distance relationship doesn’t have a predictable schedule of communication times, you run the risk of slipping into a zone of “only when it’s convenient.” And that’s not a real relationship. All relationships involve some kind of compromise and making time, by phone or Skype every day is important to growing a secure attachment.