Adults have 4 attachment styles: Secure, Insecure (anxious–preoccupied, dismissive–avoidant, and fearful–avoidant).
Are you one of them? Here is a statement you might agree with:
Secure: “Being close is easy!”
Anxious-preoccupied: “I want to be emotionally intimate with people, but they don’t want to be with me!”
Dismissive-avoidant: “I’d rather not depend on others or have others depend on me!”
Fearful-avoidant: “I want to be close, but what if I get hurt?”
Marcia: “I just don’t know what went wrong at the end, when I thought everything was ok between us. Alright, we had our arguments like everyone else, but our relationship had got off to such a great start. I moved in with Matt 3 months after we got together, and, as he’s a director of our company, and has a pretty stressful job, I always put Matt first and dropped everything if I thought he needed me. I always made sure things ran smoothly for him, meals prepared in the evening when he got in and a clean, ironed shirt ready every morning. Then, last month, he announced he didn’t want to be with me anymore, said I was too demanding and asked me to move out. I couldn’t believe it, especially when I look at the way some of my friends treat their boyfriends, always asking them to do stuff or pick them up from somewhere. When I think about everything I’ve done for Matt, how can he call me demanding?”
“Our friend is very beautiful divorcee in her 40’s who is very involved with her children, rescues animals, and is extremely friendly and kind. She told us the story of reconnecting with a man whom she had known in high school. She knew that he was a divorced father who seemed very caring towards his children. When they got together last year, he swept her off her feet. She insisted that things go slowly so that they had ample opportunity to be sure that their relationship was good. When they got engaged, they even went to a marriage counselor just to be sure that their marriage would be successful.
All of her friends liked her fiancé. My husband had even met him and thought he was great. My husband was impressed at the time that they seemed to have a good, stable relationship. We were very happy for her that she was going to marry somebody so nice.
She was reluctant to sell her house that she had worked so hard to buy, but he assured her that he loved her so much and that they would be happier in his larger home. She moved in with him and everything seemed to be going well. She put her house on the market, and, when it was about to close, he suddenly announced that she wasn’t the person whom he’d thought that she was and that it was over. He told her that she would have to move out of his house immediately.”
Anonymous4, “I seem to be according to attachment theory in adults. Please help me learn more about this way of dealing with people.
I recently discovered that I seem to be fearful-avoidant according to attachment theory in adults. This was a big eureka moment for me because I’m not very in touch with my feelings, or into self-help literature.
Fearful-avoidant does a great job of describing me. I experienced a childhood loss (parental suicide at a young age) and I do do have trouble letting my partners get “too close”. My last five girlfriends have fallen in love with me, but I’ve been unable to reciprocate. Now, I feel guilty about dating because I’m afraid I’ll just end up hurting my next girlfriend, and yet I yearn for a relationship. I also have extremely low feelings of self-worth.”
“Izzy’s account of a childhood experience of chronic illness matches Main’s (American attachment expert, Mary Main) observations. She suffered with fairly severe asthma until she was 20. But she still had happy memories of playing board games with her mother and father or just watching her favorite tv programmes with them when she wasn’t well enough to attend school. She also recalled running around outdoors with her friends all day during the summer holidays in the countryside near the village where she grew up. She was not a child wrapped in cotton wool.
Izzy’s attachment history suggests the potential for relationship success. Like other secure individuals Izzy is on safe ground when she encounters people who are open, honest and secure in themselves, as Paul her husband had been. She is now seeing an old friend from university and thinks he could become an important part of her life.”
What is your attachment Style? Take this test6 at http://www.yourpersonality.net/attachment/create_account.php
To learn more, go to CounselingonDemand.com
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1. MEGHAN LASLOCKY, How to Stop Attachment Insecurity from Ruining Your Love Life FEBRUARY 13, 2014, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_stop_attachment_insecurity_from_ruining_your_love_life
2. Jane McChrystal, Relationship Success and Your Attachment Style, Part 1, http://londongrip.co.uk/2011/10/success-and-your-attachment-style-1/
3. Jeb Kinnison, Attachment type Forum, http://jebkinnison.boards.net/thread/47/realized-avoidants-personal-pattern
4. http://ask.metafilter.com/278021/Help-for-the-fearful-avoidant-adult5. Jane McChrystal,
5. Jane McChrystal, Relationship Success and Your Attachment Style, Part 3 http://londongrip.co.uk/2012/03/attachment-style-and-relationship-success-part-3/
6. YOUR PERSONALITY, Learn more about your personality and how it changes over time. http://www.yourpersonality.net/attachment/create_account.php