- FALLING OUT OF LOVE: WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
- HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
- WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT MY BOYFRIEND IS LYING TO M...
- TOP 13 RELATIONSHIP TIPS EVERY COUPLE SHOULD KNOW
- HOW PEOPLE BEHAVE WITH INTIMACY AND COMFORT
- LOVE FACTS: FALLING OUT OF LOVE OR COMPATIBILITY
- TOP 10 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR MAN COMMIT
- TOP 6 KEYS TO A PASSIONATE RELATIONSHIP
- BEST REVENGE FOR YOU CHEATER BOYFRIEND
- TOP 10 REVENGE FOR CHEATERS BOYFRIENDS OR PARTNER
- WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU TAKE BACK AN UNFAITHFU...
- THE MAJOR SIGNS OF LYING
- TRUST ISSUES IN RELATIONSHIPS
- CHEATER: DO YOU TAKE HIM BACK OR DUMP HIM
- WHO IS CONTROLLING YOUR RELATIONSHIP
- WHAT GIRLS SHOULD AVOID TO TELL TO A GUY
- SHOULD YOU TAKE BACK A CHEATING BOYFRIEND
- HOW TO MAINTAIN A LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP
- TOP 5 TIPS ON HOW TO HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP
- TOP 7 TIPS TO MAKE A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP WO...
- HOW TO BREAK YOUR EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCY ON YOUR EX
- Father's Day Gifs |Father's Day Gifts
- TIPS ON HOW TO BREAK UP IN A KINDNESS WAY POSSIBLE...
- TOP 10 WAYS TO GET OVER AND SURVIVE A BREAK-UP
- HOW TO FORGET SOMEONE WHO BROKE YOUR HEART
- GETTING OVER YOUR FIRST LOVE
- FRIEND TO LOVER: FALLING IN LOVE WITH A FRIEND
- TIPS ON HOW TO BE A GOOD BOYFRIEND
- RELATIONSHIP STRUGGLE FOR POWER
- HOW TO REBUILD TRUST IN A BROKEN RELATIONSHIP
- 5 STEPS TO LIFE AFTER THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
- 3 MAJOR REASONS TO BREAK UP WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND
- WHAT TO DO NEXT AFTER A DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
- TOP 10 WAYS TO PUNISH A CHEATER
- TOP 10 TRUTHS YOU WISH YOU HAVE KNOWN SOONER
- Raksha Bandhan Rakhi | Happy Raksha Bandhan Rakhi ...
- Birthday Balloons and Cake Cartoon |Happy Birthday...
- Friendship Day Greeting Cards |Personalized Gifts ...
- RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS
- RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS: LYING, INFIDELITY, CHEATING...
- TOP 5 TIPS BEFORE YOU GIVE UP ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP...
- Last Minute Birthday Gifts |Last Minute Flowers |L...
- Simple Housewarming Gift Idea
- Holiday Gift Tags |Printable Holiday Gift Tags
- LACK OF TRUST OFTEN LEADS TO LYING AND DECEPTION
- 7 Top things Guys like...
- HOW TO ATTRACT LOVE
- LOVE IN DIFFICULT TIMES: WHEN TO GIVE UP IN A RELA...
- 10 SIGNS THAT YOU ARE TAKEN FOR GRANTED BY YOUR BO...
- RELATIONSHIP: ARE YOU TAKEN FORGRANTED
- TOP 15 SIGNS THAT YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MEANT FOR E...
- HOW TO MAKE A STRESS FREE LIFE: KEEP YOUR SANITY
- REBOUND GIRL OR GUY: THEORY, UNDERSTANDING, ANSWER...
- Tips to deal with a jealous girlfriend
- ▼ August (54)
When trying to make sense of our close relationships, it also helps to understand how people form romantic attachments to each other.
To begin with, people differ in their comfort with intimacy in a very predictable manner.
Different Styles of Attachment
Briefly, the way we form an attachment to our romantic partners is based upon the kind of care we received as an infant. And as infants, we typically form an attachment to our primary caregiver, in one of three ways.
Please note, this page draws on the work of Bartholomew, Bowlby, Shaver and Hazan's work on attachment styles and Cole and Leet's review of research on attachment styles.
When caregivers are consistently available and responsive, infants form a secure style of attachmen. By and large, secure children feel safe and comfortable, and are able to explore and develop new skills with minimal anxiety or concern.
When caregivers are inconsistent or overly protective, however, infants form an anxious or preoccupied attachment to the person primarily responsible for their care. Anxious orpreoccupied children monitor their caregivers more closely, attempt to stay by their caregiver’s side and respond more dramatically when in trouble. Anxious children are simply more fearful and less confident than infants who are securely attached.
Finally, if caregivers are neglectful, infants are likely to develop adismissing style of attachment. Dismissing children show few signs of needing their caregivers, they do not spend a lot of time trying to get their caregiver’s attention, and they do their best to cope with problems on their own.
When we fall in love as an adult, the style of attachment formed as an infant influences how we treat our romantic partners.
People who formed a secure attachment to their caregivers tend to form a secure attachment to the person they love.
Individuals with a secure style of attachment have more satisfying and longer lasting relationships. Secure individuals are comfortable being close to their partners. They are comfortable having someone depend on them just as they are comfortable being dependent on another individual. Being more trusting, open, and understanding, they approach problems and issues that may arise with their partners in a constructive manner.
People who formed an anxious or preoccupied attachment as an infant, by comparison, are more likely to be preoccupied with their relationships as an adult. Anxious or preoccupied adults are constantly worried and anxious about their love life - they crave and desperately need intimacy - but, they never stop questioning their partner’s love (“do you really love me?”).Anxious individuals are concerned that their partners will leave them.
These adults are obsessed with their relationships and everything that happens in them. They rarely feel completely loved and they experience extreme emotional highs and lows. One minute their romantic partner can make their day by showing them the smallest level of interest and the next minute they are worried that their partner doesn’t care about them. Overall, anxiously attached individuals are hard to satisfy; you can’t love them enough, or be close enough to them, and they constantly monitor their relationships for problems. Ironically, their need for love, makes it easy for anxious individuals to be taken advantage of when it comes to love and romance, which in the long run can create even more suspicion and doubt.
Finally, people who had a dismissing style of attachment as an infant are likely to form a dismissing attachment to their romantic partners. As adults, dismissing individuals are uncomfortable with intimacy - they actually fear it. They do not like it when people get close, and they don’t like being dependent on a partner or having someone be dependent on them.Dismissing individuals tend not to trust others, and they are more self-sufficient, cynical, and independent in nature. They are less likely to fall deeply in love and need a lot less affection and intimacy. Dismissing individuals are more apt to put their time into their careers, hobbies, and activities than their relationships. They also get easily annoyed with their relational partners and often display negative feelings and hostility toward their loved ones.
Attachment Styles Influence How We React
Knowing if you have a secure, anxious/preoccupied or dismissing style of attachment is important because it influences what happens in our romantic relationships.
It influences how people think, feel, and behave. Almost every relational behavior from jealousy to infidelity to deception is influenced by one's attachment style.
The following example shows how important attachment styles can be:
Imagine that you are engaged and that your fiancé is going out with his or her friends for the evening. Your fiancé says that he or she will be home by midnight and that he or she will give you a call at that time.
Now, imagine that you have a secure attachment style and it is after 1a.m. and you notice that the phone hasn’t rung. You are probably thinking that all is well, your fiancé is out having fun and he or she will call you in the morning – no big deal.
Now, imagine that you have an anxious or preoccupied style of attachment. The exact same scenario – its 1a.m. and the phone hasn’t rung. What’s going through your mind and how are you dealing with the situation? How many times have you checked your phone to make sure it is working or how many times have you thought about calling your fiancé? Maybe you’ve even decided to go out and track him or her down.
Finally, consider what a person with a dismissing style of attachment would be experiencing. Do you even notice the phone hasn’t rung? Probably not.
Now, let’s fast forward to the next morning. Your fiancé calls early in the morning.
How would a secure individual respond? As a securely attached individual you are pleased to hear from your fiancé and would probably ask “What happened last night?” And as a secureperson, you are most likely to be satisfied with the explanation that is given.
As an anxious/preoccupied person, however, you will be a complete wreck, having been up all night imagining the worst and most likely plotting some sort of way to get even. By the time the phone finally rings, your anger and frustration can’t help but show, whether through sulking or putting your fiancé on the defensive by asking accusatory questions (“How could you do that? Where were you? Who were you with? Why didn’t you call when you said you would?”).
Finally, as a dismissing individual you will probably be wondering why your fiancé is bothering to call so early in the morning – “What do you want?”
Simply put, people don't see the world as it is, rather we impose our beliefs on what we experience (see, impose beliefs - and the examples provided).
It helps to understand how we form attachments to romantic partners because our style of attachment influences so much of what happens in our close relationships. Again, one's attachment style influences our experience of jealousy, self-disclosure, conflict resolution, love, commitment, lying,infidelity, sexual behavior, just to name a few.
For instance, anxious/preoccupied individuals are more likely to experience jealousy, while dismissing individuals are much less likely to do so. Anxious/preoccupied individuals are more likely to engage in too much self-disclosure, while dismissing individuals try not to reveal things about themselves. Anxious/preoccupied individuals are overly eager to make relational commitments while dismissing individuals are uncomfortable doing so.
If you are curious about you and/or your partner's attachment style - you can take an attachment test on another website. Please note that there are four styles of attachment, but we only discuss three of them here. To date, most of the research on attachment has focused on secure, anxious/preoccupied and dismissing individuals - for more information on all four styles, please see wikipedia.