NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 1, 2019: A young couple talk outside Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, an iconic bar and live country music venue in the Lower Broadway entertainment district in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
What You Should Know About Attachment Styles In A Relationship
What is Attachment Theory?
Attachment theory is a psychological concept by British psychiatrist John Bowlby that early life experiences play a significant role in emotional behaviors exhibited later in life. How parents or caregivers raised you, as well as the emotional bond you shared, directly influence how you navigate adult relationships.
The 4 Different Styles
There are four different attachment styles — secure, anxious, avoidant, and disorganized — that may remain stable once developed, but can fluctuate as you adapt to various circumstances. All have positive and negative ramifications on your relationships, and each style indicates how you cope with your environment and the people within it.
Secure Attachment
Secure attachment is the result of feeling safe, understood, supported, and valued growing up, and those with this style are able to build healthy, long-lasting relationships. They also understand that they are worthy of love, crave closeness and intimacy with their partners, are empathetic, and strive to always
be open and honest.
Anxious Attachment
Adults with an anxious attachment style are constantly worried about their partner's commitment, which can stem from overprotective, neglectful, or unreliable caregivers in childhood. They long for closeness but can overdo it, which can end up pushing their partners away as they tire of having to constantly reassure them.
Avoidant Attachment
People with avoidant attachment prioritize their independence and struggle with putting their partner first, have trouble displaying physical or verbal affection, and can run hot one minute and cold the next. They often view their partner's desire to spend time together as clingy and feel uncomfortable with normal relationship behaviors.